by Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk.com Culture Editor
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? - Matthew 6:26
There are a lot of great stories I could tell about my father, but today I’d like to share something that happened when I was barely four years old. My sister and I were both due to get our vaccinations, and my father ended up taking us to the doctor by himself (an action that speaks volumes about my father’s selflessness and my mother’s foresight). As we sat in the waiting room, my sister and I began to get nervous. We’d been told the shots would hurt, so my dad spent several minutes patiently soothing us and promising it would be no more than a pinch. Finally, one of the nurses called us into a small back room where a smiling doctor waited to greet us.
She assured us both this would be over in no time, and after selecting my sister as her first
victim patient, she asked if we’d seen her new kitten poster. As soon as my sister turned to look, the doctor lunged forward like Captain Ahab trying to harpoon Moby Dick. Madness ensued. My sister was screaming and crying and I did the only thing any four-year-old could think to do: I ran. I bolted straight out of that room and down the hallway.
My father had to chase me down and restrain me while the nurse administered the shot and took a blood sample (actually two samples, I might have kicked her while she was getting the first one). All in all, it probably wasn’t the best day for everybody involved. Still, when I look back on that event all these years later, I don’t just see a funny story, I see examples of God’s love in the actions of my father. For starters, God is loving, He walks with us into places of fear and pain. God is comforting, when we’re afraid He reminds us that He will always be there.
Finally, God relentlessly pursues us. At four years old I didn’t understand that I needed these shots to stay healthy, but my father did. He chased me down and made me experience pain because he loved me, and he knew it would give me a better future. In the same way, God sometimes has to chase us through life, then drag us through all kinds of hurt and hardship, because He loves us and knows we will be better for it. This Father’s Day, I want to encourage Christians everywhere to remember just how important fathers are to us all.
May you find reflections of your Heavenly Father in our Earthly parents.
Intersecting Faith and Life: Happy Father’s Day, Dad!