As the holiday nears the memories of Christmas past floods me. Missing relatives, grieving over betrayals and losses, accepting that kids are grown and on their own. Things are not the same. Life changes. But there is one thing that never changes, and one story that remains the same, year after year…The Story of Christmas. And, because of that story, I have made a decision to set apart a place in my heart entirely for Him, not just this season but for the days that will make up my sacred journey of this thing we call, LIFE. A place that remains the same despite the circumstances, the weather, the problems, the pain. A place in my heart for my Heavenly Father.
Today focus on:
My father has been gone for about 32 years. Though gone he is impossible to forget. He loved me. He had a whole host of his own problems, but he was kind and loving, and at the end of the day I knew that I was one of the most important things in his life. I miss him. This year I put up a little remembrance tree. Three ornaments with pictures, my father, my mother and my mother in law. Memories of parenthood. And today I reflect on my Heavenly Father.
His name is Father. What does that name mean? It means protector, provider, caretaker, and the one from whom life came from. Some do not have a good recall when thinking of Father, but most of us would love to be wrapped in a Daddy’s arms when things are hard. Even if we didn’t have that kind of security growing up, we probably can all relate to wishing we did. Everlasting Father. He never changes. He is timeless. Jesus contrasts earthly parents with himself when he said:
“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 7:9-11
He is a different kind of Father. He invites us to come to Him. He invites us to ask of Him. He promises that provision comes through Him.
Everlasting comes from the Hebrew rood ad, which means duration, continue and advance. I can rejoice that God is a Father who will stay with me for the duration of this journey, the entire battle of each problem, and throughout my life. He is a Father who gives the advance or next step.
The dictionary defines everlasting as ” around the clock”. That is fun to think of…Jesus is the around the clock Father, 24/7, taking care of me, watching after me, giving me the right advice.
John 10:29 ” nothing can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
Finally a Father also disciplines, UGH!
Heb 12:7 “My child don’t ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don’t be discouraged when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves and he punishes those he accepts as children. As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own child.”
Look In: What is God speaking to you about WHO He is, and WHO He will remain to be in your life? Are there any course corrections that are necessary in order to embrace him for who He is? Do you need to be wrapped in His arms today? Memories flooding, hurt building? Go straight to Him, right now. Talk in real terms, start the conversation, tell him that you need to know you are in Daddy’s arms this Christmas.
Look Out: Who can you bless today? Who is suffering that you know? Who has endured loss? What can you do? Perhaps you need to reach out to your earthly parents, perhaps one’s who have hurt you. The gift of Christmas is for all of us, even those who have hurt others. Maybe, this Christmas, the best thing you can do is extend Love. It might start as a baby step, but extensions of love go a long way.
Pray: Ask, Seek, Knock. What do you need? What is on your list? What does your soul desire? Go to Matthew 6 and pray The Lord’s Prayer.
Though my Father’s picture hangs on my Christmas tree in memory, I thank God today that He indeed is my Father and I am not left alone, orphaned in this life.