Here in the final minutes of Father's Day I find myself reflecting on all the things it has meant to me this year.
When I woke up early today before anyone else began to stir, it was a quiet time to collect my thoughts and write in the card I'd bought for my husband. This being his 15th Father's Day I was wondering how much I've repeated myself over the years with words of appreciation and affection for the Dad he has been. This year was no different, except that time deepens the memories that come to mind of board games played in the middle of the living room floor, baseball games coached to both victory and defeat, and pool babies hanging on his shoulders.
I am increasingly grateful with each new phase for the husband and father he has been.
At church I sat next to my dad and laid my hand on his shoulder while we prayed for all the men carrying the privelege and burden of fatherhood. I knew how fortunate I was in that moment to be sitting with him, in church, worshipping our heavenly Father.
Later in the day we visited Dan's dad in the hospital. He's been in some medical facility or another for eight months now and still has the courtesy, patience and kindness to thank every person who walks into his room for whatever little favor they may have done. That includes taking his blood pressure, suctioning his treach or making funny faces at him while wishing him a "happy" Father's Day.
I thought today of friends who are celebrating their first Father's Day without their Dad, including three brothers aged 12-16, two of whom have been on Ryan's baseball team for three years running. That's too young to stop having a father around.
I thought of a young couple at church who recently suffered a miscarriage and how that young man's longing must have been heightened while so many other men were wished a good Father's Day.
More pondering brought to mind others in my life who have shared stories of dads who abused or abandoned and find little reason to celebrate them on this "Hallmark" holiday.
I am painfully aware of how quickly time passes and that there is no guarantee both our fathers will still be with us this time next year. For that reason I celebrate them all the more today.
But tonight, I'm most thankful for our heavenly Father. The Father who fearfully and wonderfully knit all those other father's together in their mother's womb's and then created their children to make them fathers. I'm so grateful for those precious lives, but I'm so much more grateful for the life He's given beyond that first birth. The eternal life promised through faith in His Son and His work on the cross. That is what reconciles us to Him so that we may be adopted into His family as sons and daughters of God.
Our Father is in heaven, but He's also with us who believe in Him.
His name is greatly to be praised.
His kingdom will come and His will certainly done. I invite them to come quickly.
I trust Him to give me everything I need, including my deepest need for forgiveness.
I must forgive those who've offended me before asking God to forgive my offenses.
I know when I follow Him, He is faithful to lead me beside still waters, away from all temptation and evil.
He reigns with all power - and is due all glory - forever.