Blog, Living in the Abundance of Christ

A Trustworthy Father

We rode alone in his truck on a typical, overcast Washington day. I looked over at him and thought, “I can trust him.”  My dad was the first man I ever trusted. It was not easy for me to arrive at this conclusion.  I’m not sure of my exact age when it happened (some time between 9-11 yrs. old), but I remember the moment clearly. It took years of watching and observing before I understood this truth. Through foster care, my sister and I arrived to my parents at the age of 5 and 3, a little worse for the wear. They, later, became our adoptive parents.

Before I met him, I believed that all men were the same, not trustworthy. That was my previous, albeit limited, experience. I cannot explain the relief that washed over me when I realized that he was trustworthy. Being able to trust my dad changed my perception of men, of people in general, I think. I did not know the truth up to that point, but believed only what my experience showed me. What is true is that some people are not trustworthy, and some people are. I didn’t know that fact until the moment I trusted my dad.  This realization led to a shift in my thinking. I’m not sure what this looked like outwardly, but it felt like a weight had been lifted off of me. It felt light and free.

All those years of pulling away or tensing up if he tried to hug me and generally feeling uncomfortable in his presence, now made sense to him. At age 13 my parents found out where some of my trust issues stemmed from, and I was promptly put in counseling. My dad is trustworthy and safe, and I am thankful to God for him. I am also thankful for the other great men God put in my life; my two grandpa’s. They were trustworthy too. Prior to living with my adoptive family, I did not know one trustworthy man. God, in his mercy, gave me 3 men I could trust.

“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” Matthew 6:26

I have wondered what my life would be like without a trustworthy father. And more so, how this would have affected my view of God. One of the names God goes by is Father. I can imagine for some people, who have had no father figure or a poor father figure, that this idea might be frightening. That someone might feel leery or nervous about coming to God, who is a Father. They might recoil or tense up at the thought of a loving father, because they’ve never experienced this or their experience was corrupted and their perception warped.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

God constructed families and placed fathers in a pivotal role. We understand how important Father’s are. Even if we did not have a good example, we know what a good father looks like. God calls himself Father as a way of understanding and relating to him. God is often referred to as a Father of the fatherless (Psa. 68:5, Psa. 27:10, Psa. 146:9, Job 29:12, Jer. 49:11). If we are believers in Christ, then God is our Father. We have been adopted by him. I understand the fullness of what this means, being adopted. I understand what it’s like to have no father figure or a poor representation of a father figure, and then to experience what a good father is like. It took me a long time to know that I had a good father in my dad, but I’m so glad I came to understand this truth.

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” Romans 8:15-17

Through fathers’ God shows his great love for us. If you have a trustworthy father or father figure I hope you will thank him and thank God for him. If you do not have a trustworthy father, I hope you know that our God is trustworthy. He loves you with a perfect and uncorrupted love, he, and only he, can bind up your broken heart.  Through Jesus, God our Father, has shown his great love for us. Whether or not you have had a good earthly father, if  you have put your trust in Christ, God is your Father. You have been adopted into his family, and you get to experience what having a good father is like.

“…and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18

 

 

 

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