Countless hours of my childhood were spent running around the park of Disney World. My dad started working there the day they opened and was still getting free tickets thirty years later. Most of the tourists’ children spent their once-in-a-lifetime trip making sure they had conquered Space Mountain and enjoyed the classic rides like Dumbo, but for those of us who were employees’ kids, we got to know all the ins and outs of some stores that often got overlooked by visitors on a mission.
One that stands out in my memory was a small shop on Main Street that sold gag tricks. You know the ones like the leash that has stiff wire running through it so that it looks like you are walking an invisible dog? Or rainbow-colored scarves that kid magicians would stuff down their fist and then reveal an empty hand while pulling the scarf from behind their ear?
One of my least favorite gags was purchased by my brother. It looked exactly like an opened pack of gum with a few sticks missing. I should have suspected something when he graciously held the gum and offered me a piece. As my seven-year-old hand grabbed the top stick and pulled it to make it my own, a pre-set spring in the package snapped my finger, eliciting a startled yelp from me and an excited chuckle from him.
Ever felt that way? Ever been tricked? Your emotions going quickly from anticipation and gratitude of a kind gesture to the shock of being deceived and let down?
Every year as Father’s Day rolls around, I wonder how many hearts are hurting and disappointed by the father that life’s deck of cards dealt them. As small children when we are set up for disappointment and wanting to reach out and trust a loving father’s hand, we can often be snapped by an unmet need or even a lack of any kind of relationship, much less a healthy one.
I grew up with a stable and loving relationship with my Dad. He was consistent in his love for me. I have no way of knowing what your Daddy was like growing up. Maybe you never even met him. Whether he was kind, absent, cruel, or faithful, one thing I do know and am still discovering is what our heavenly father is like.
He is nurturing and comforting:
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
He is giving:
(James 1:5) If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
He created you and knows you:
(Isaiah 44:24) Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb: “I am the Lord, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself…”
He is here to father the fatherless:
(Psalm 68:5) Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.
He has provided all the spiritual blessings we will ever need:
(Ephesians 1:3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
Our heavenly Father can be trusted. He is faithful and consistent. And you, my friend, are the apple of His eye. We are dearly loved and liked by the God of the universe . . . now that makes for a Happy Father’s Day!