Few can say it better than Brennan Manning.
“The heart of the Father was Jesus’ hiding place, a strong protective space where God was near, where the desert intimacy was renewed, where trust, love, and self-awareness never died but were continually rekindled. In times of opposition, rejection, hatred, and danger he retreated to that hiding place where he was loved.
In times of weakness and fear a strength and mighty perseverance were born there. In the face of mounting incomprehension and mistrust, the Father alone understood him.
No one knows who the Son is except the Father… ~ Luke 10:22
The Pharisees plotted secretly to destroy him; fair-weather friends shifted their allegiance; one disciple denied him and another betrayed him; but nothing could remove Jesus from his Father’s love.
In the seclusion of desert places he rendezvoused with El Shaddai, and what those moments meant to him can scarcely be apprehended. But this much can be said: the primary, growing, definitive identity and consciousness of Jesus to be his Father’s Son, Servant, and Beloved was profoundly reinforced.
Nothing must interfere with proclaiming the Good News of eternal life and helping people to a way of life that would enable them to grow toward eternity – a way of peace and justice, with room for human dignity to be recognized and for love to blossom.”
~ From The Gentle Revolutionaries by Brennan Manning
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” ~ Lamentations 3:22-23
May we all find our hiding place in the heart of the Father!
We all have a mixed bag of experiences and emotions when it comes to recognizing Father’s Day. Some of us had great dads for whom we are very grateful. Others had very unpleasant experiences with their dad and are still dealing with the latent effects.
My dad was a good-hearted man who was involved with me mostly by way of sports during my younger years. Our relationship became a bit strained and distant during my teenage years for a variety of reasons – most of them typical.
But then one ordinary Saturday in the Fall of 1978 my dad died of a heart attack and complications. It happened suddenly while he was playing golf with some buddies from work. They revived him in the ambulance but then lost him again at the hospital.
I was 17 at the time and just starting my senior year of high school. In the blink of an eye my world changed forever. Being the youngest of four boys I wasn’t alone, but it sure felt that way.
I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I wished he were still here so that I could share the everyday experiences of life with him and ask a boatload of questions. But in God’s providence, it wasn’t to be.
And yet I can recall in an instant all the different men that God has brought into my life at just the right time to fill the void left by my dad’s passing. Fatherhood isn’t so much a title as it is a role. And by God’s grace different men have filled that role in my life.
No matter what your own experience with a dad was like – or if you still have him around, take time today to thank those who have filled that role in your life. May we all be…
Grateful for father figures in our lives!
It began nearly 21 years ago when Eli, our oldest, was born; and it has continued non-stop ever since with all six of our children. What is “it?” I could be referring to the laughter, the heartache, the challenge, the delight, the tiredness, etc… of raising children. All of that and more is true. But the “it” I’m referring to is…
The Father heart of God.
As a young man following Jesus I understood the concept of God as Father, but actually being a father has given me endless insights into the heart of God. To be honest, of all that I did expect about being a parent and teaching my kids the important lessons of life; I wasn’t expecting them to teach me so much.
The lesson or insight that is filling every fiber of my being right now is the indescribable anguish of the Father in letting Jesus come to earth and die such a brutal death.
Yesterday we witnessed Sam taking an oath to serve and protect our country as he was sworn into the Marines and sent off to boot camp in San Diego. It’s what he’s wanted to do for a long, long time now and I am both very proud of him and excited for his new adventure; but it still hurts to let him go.
I know he’s not going off to face the enemy but it’s hard not to have my children close and available to share the journey of life. I’ve never been apart from any of them for 13 weeks. And as heavy as my heart is right now I know it’s even more difficult for Susan (mom) and Valerie (his wife) and Aaron (his three-month-old son).
But it makes me appreciate the love of our Father just that much more. It’s another glimpse into the depth of His compassion for us. The heartache of a Father letting a Son leave home in order to serve and rescue humankind.
Thank You Father!