“This, then, is how you should pray:
“ ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name…'”
Matthew 6:9 (NIV)
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”
Psalm 103:13-14 (NIV)
In the western world we have our designated Father’s Day next Sunday. Loving families have purchased cards, bought Dad a gift, and maybe will take him out for lunch or dinner next Sunday. It is good to honour our fathers and treat them to a gift and/or words of love.
The majority of us had normal, loving fathers who taught us good morals and sacrificed themselves in various ways to give us helpful advantages in life. Even those who did not have a good example of fatherhood can understand what a good father is all about.
It is fascinating to learn that numerous prominent atheists of the last few centuries had fathers who deserted the family or were poor role models in other ways. One prominent researcher in psychology suggests that this is why these atheists rejected the image of a god who has his people call him “father”.
Various characteristics of a father can be applied to us as God’s people. The verses from Psalm 103 remind us of how understanding our heavenly Father is toward us. God knows us entirely. He made us and knows that we came from dust. When it says, “he remembers that we are dust” it means that God recognizes our limitations and is tender hearted toward us in our weakness.
Good earthly fathers do not expect a 5 year old son to have mastered the skill of driving the family car. Just so, our Father in heaven has reasonable expectations of us as we seek to live for Him. He “remembers that we are dust”.
Perhaps today you see your life as a mess in this way or that. Your Father in heaven will gently pick you up, dust off the mistakes of the day, and guide you in a better way of living tomorrow. Never forget, that while God is certainly displeased with the sin in your life, He patiently corrects you and guides you back to the way of righteousness once more. If you are a Christian—God will never cease to be your Father. You are His for time and eternity. Today rejoice in the truth that you have God as your Father. Go and live up to your family name!