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My Father, My Gift

The following excerpt is from my latest writing project, a study booklet on the life of Job:

Job didn’t exactly have 20/20 vision when it came to his concept about God. I don’t always get it right, either. Sometimes when the picture in my mind of my Heavenly Father begins to fade a bit, I see again the gift I’ve had right in front of me my whole life—my own earthly father. He has loved me with a pure, unconditional, and unlimited love.

I am blessed that my dad is a man who loves God with a quiet, yet steady, firm faith. He is still unabashedly crazy about my mother after nearly 63 years of marriage and counting. My two brothers and I never had any doubt that we were the apples of his eye. He wanted to spend time with us whenever he could and in whatever ways we needed.

In the way my dad raised me and loved me throughout the years, I’ve had a constant reminder of the Father’s love for me. I am truly one of the fortunate few to have had such a loving daddy. At 84 years old, he still makes sure I know how much he loves me.

Some verses in the New Testament bring me to a fuller understanding of perfect fatherhood each time I read them:

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

(Matthew 9:9-11)

Thinking back through numerous memorable moments in my life, I now know that I could have probably asked my dad for just about anything. If he had it, and if he knew it was good for me to have it, he would hand it over with a smile and a twinkle in his eye. I realize that every “No” was required, because that’s what was the best for me at that time.

My dad showed me by his example so much about the nature of God.

Sometimes, like Job, we may be tempted to think the Lord has given us the “snakes” instead of the “fish.” In His wisdom, He is actually working through our circumstances to give us something far better than what we asked for. An unknown author explained it like this:

I asked for health that I might do greater things;

I was given infirmity that I might do better things.

I asked God for strength that I might achieve;

I was made weak that I might learn to obey.

I asked for riches that I might be happy;

I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for power and the praise of men;

I was given weakness to sense my need of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;

I was given life that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing I asked for but everything I hoped for;

In spite of myself, my prayers were answered –

I am among all men most richly blessed.

Yes, God always gives us what’s best for us.

Our Father is a good, good Father.

I’m so thankful for His gift to me, my father. My dad helps me to better see and know Him.

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