A few weeks ago, my phone dinged with a text from UPS saying that I would be receiving a package the next day from my dad’s company. I knew instantly what it was, but tried not to get my hopes up, in case I was wrong. My dad started the non-profit, Coffee Helping Missions. Not only does all of the profit from this coffee go to the work of missionaries, it is just the best coffee and one of the things I miss most from the States. My parents had brought some to England for us at Christmas, but it is gone. Dare I hope that he had sent some? The next day, the package arrived and my hopes were realized. I have been blessed with such a great dad.
When I was a kid, my dad was working hard to build his business. Even still, he made time for me with rides on his lap while mowing the grass, the chance to sit by his side in his delivery truck, ice cream dates, chaperoning school field trips, and attending “my games” when I was just a cheerleader. I can remember seeing him make phone calls at a payphone on the Ocean City Boardwalk to check in on his business, but he would never have skipped a family vacation because of work. He and my mom made making memories as a family a big priority and they still do. Nowadays, I love drinking coffee with him and talking about life. When I used to live close, we would meet at Starbucks. Now, we are always on vacation when we get to do that, so it is extra special.
My dad has taught me many things, but by far the most important is how to be a daughter. All of the time that he gave to love me, breathed worth into my identity. He loved me because I was his, not because of anything that I achieved. That kind of love paved the way for my heart to understand and accept the way that my Creator and Heavenly Father loves me. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (I John 3:1). I spend a lot of time facilitating conversations surrounding faith and what the Bible says about who God is and how much he loves us. A crushing number of women whom I have met are navigating life wearing the impact of a difficult, distant or painful relationship with their father. When a dad does not love his daughter well, she has an uphill climb when it comes to understanding what it means to be loved for who she is by God as his creation.
Everyone who meets my dad is glad that they have. He is an eternal optimist, a problem solver and someone who genuinely loves to help. Very quickly, people realize he is one you want in your corner. My dad has been a person in my life who offers hope, whether I have need advice or a practical solution to a problem.
Since I was little, I knew what it meant to trust my dad, therefore, it is an easy correlation for me to see God the Father as trustworthy. This is how good fathers are: they are for you, they problem solve and want to help. Romans 3:23-26 is one of my favorite portions of the Bible because it lays out how God solved the incredibly difficult problem of humankind’s sin:
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.” (NLT)
God sets things right. . .I love being able to share that with people in my life. I can bear witness to what good fathers are like. No matter what kind of dad you had, there is hope for everyone to walk in the beauty and freedom of experiencing God the Father’s unconditional love. Dads everywhere do need to know how important a role they play. Mine set me up to look to, depend on and receive life-changing love from my Heavenly Father in such a clear way. The legacy lives on as my sons and daughters are growing up knowing what it is to be delighted in by their dad. I am so grateful for both of these special men in my life.
It is Father’s Day this weekend and I am missing my dad. There is an ocean in between us that I wish that I could do away with; if only for Sunday lunch. Thankfully, we have plans to see each other soon and there will be lots of coffee. . . and maybe some shoo-fly pie.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
II Thessalonians 2:16-17