What is a Father?

When you think about the word “Father” what do you think about? A protector? An enforcer? A punisher? There are many definitions of the word “Father.” We can sometimes associate God with our earthly fathers. I know I did, for a long time. 
I used to think God was someone who was angry when I messed up and would punish me. He had all these rules in this book that we were supposed to follow but if we didn’t I thought He would punish me and be angry. So for many years I stayed far, far away. Over the last few years I’ve seen what God really is like, through the actions of my earthly father. 
My senior year of high school I was struggling. I was completely overwhelmed by an addiction that I had been dealing with since I was 13 years old. I didn’t feel like I could tell anyone for so many years, I was ashamed. One Wednesday night though, I heard the message about the truth will set you free. Since I wasn’t a Christian I took this literally at the time, that being honest would set me free. So I came home and told my Dad. I expected him to be angry and not understand. His response confused me. He grabbed me and began to hug me. We both began to cry and then he said, “We’ll get through this.” Just like my dad our Heavenly Father does not get angry when we mess up. He pulls us close and loves us and encourages us through whatever we are going through. 
About two years into this process of getting me professional help for this addiction, I was still struggling. It seemed like it would never end. “I’m not going to let the devil take my son” he proclaimed one day in the midst of the struggle. My dad was never going to give up on me, even when it seemed everyone else had. Our Heavenly Father never gives up on us. He is with us at all times, gently encouraging and helping us out of this darkness. 
This weekend I got a chance to go with my Dad to Orlando, Fla for a Atlanta Braves spring training game. It was the first chance we had gotten to do something, just the two of us, in many, many years. It was great though. We left early in the morning and talked all the way up there. We talked about past, present, future. Two men talking, sharing, encouraging one another. We made it to the game and dad found a way to get us into the outfield to catch some home run balls. I felt like a little kid again, enjoying the game I loved so much. The weather was perfect and my dad was there. I got my home run ball by myself but then dad wanted to get my brother a ball as well, since he couldn’t come with us that weekend. Our Heavenly Father has no favorites. He is a Father with many sons and daughters and He loves each one of us equally. Well a home run ball came flying over the fence and hit the ground and dad dove on the ground, battling ten people for the ball for my brother. It was hilarious but it made me remember how he fought for me. God fights for us when we have nothing left in the tank. When we are surrounded by the enemy, the Lord comes in and helps us in our distress. 
I know our earthly fathers will not ever measure up to Father God but they don’t have to. They are never going to be perfect and they have messed up more times than can be counted. Our earthly fathers have hurt us and disappointed us. God though has appointed them to be our dads, for them to love us and they do. They love us so much. They protect and encourage and push on to greater things in lots of different ways. Their is one Father who will never leave us, forsake us, hurt us, or disappoint us, our Father God. 
Thank God for your earthly father because God gave him you and you him. Even if you have never had a father or your father left you, know that you have a Father. A Father who is cheering you on from the sidelines but also walking you through each play. He is constantly picking you up off the ground, bandaging your wounds and sending you back out there. He is your greatest fan. He loves you more than anything. He created you and gave you to an earthly father to teach you about His love. 
This past weekend made me realize how much my dad is a superman and how much he loves me and battles for me everyday. Likewise, Father God is battling for me not only each day, but every second, guiding me through all the adversity in the world and bringing me out on top. 
Have a blessed day.
Know you have a Father who loves you and fights for you,
Joseph.

2 thoughts on “What is a Father?

  1. Joseph, it is obvious in your writing that God has done a mighty work in you. The understanding you possess is “beyond your years”. I celebrate your victories with you and am thankful you have the earthly father you do. Give him a big hug from me! One more thing, GO BRAVES!

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  2. Amazing story. Have a tear in my eye. My brother has struggled with an addiction most of his life. So many always told my mother to give up, but she said she couldn't, it was her son. A little different being a mother rather than a father but somewhat the same when it comes to the love we have for our children. Thanks for sharing.

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