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.