by Marsha Loftis
This Week's Verse: Psalm 68:5-6, "A father of the fatherless and a judge and protector of widows is God in his Holy habitation. God places the solitary in families and gives the desolate a home in which to dwell. "
In this nation of fatherless children, my own being one of them, I wonder, am I teaching her to love on, listen to, lean on, and be guided by the only Father that truly matters?
You see, I am not only raising a 'fatherless child,' I am one too. So I can painfully identify with her and this plight sweeping our nation. In case you were wondering...Yes, she does have a father. So do I. But, unfortunately, what we don't have are Dads... That old saying, “Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad," is never more prevalent than in today’s society.
If you don't know a child being raised by someone other than their biological father then I'm sure you are in the minority. Maybe you know a child who has been blessed to not be raised by their biological father. One who is being led, lifted up, and encouraged by a wonderful man who has stepped up to the plate and taken on this awesome responsibility. My prayer is that every lonely and left out child eventually finds this kind of father-figure. For those who don't seem to be headed for this life-style I pray that those of us in the same situation can teach them to call on our ultimate Father-figure...Our Abba Father!
This concept of having an "Abba Father” was foreign to me until I came to FCC. First, I had never heard the term before. Second, being from an absent-father home, how could some "being" I had never met before love me more than my own flesh and blood father?! This seemed absurd! My study Bible uses this term as "an exceptionally close relationship to God." I hope I'm not alone in this revelation. I hope everyone "got it" and continues to "get" what God in his infinite love and mercy has to offer. That feeling of being scooped up in your father's arms. That feeling of being loved, cherished, and adored by Our Creator...How awesome is that! He not only made us, He promises never to leave us or be absent from our lives, but to be our Abba Father, Our Daddy.
Even Jesus cried out "Abba Father" (Mark 14:36) and since we have received the Spirit of Sonship, we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Gal. 4:6). Whatever your station in life, by the grace of God, it is our birthright to call out "Abba Father." When we suffer with him it is so that one day, we may also share in His glory!
Father God, I pray that you'll settle down in the hearts of those who need your comforting presence. Let them know they are not alone. I pray every person reading this, "fatherless" or not boldly proclaims, "I AM A CHILD OF GOD!" In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Join me in getting these verses to the people who need them. Write one out on a piece of paper and slip it into a gnarled and noble hand. Whisper one in the ear of a toddler while you are praying over them. Tell a ten year old, "I hear you're father's a King?!" Let them know they are important to you and to God. Wherever life has left them, God will take them the rest of the way.
2 Cor. 6:18, "I will be a Father to you and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (NIV)
Romans 8:15, "We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what's coming to us--an unbelievable inheritance!" (MSG)
Galatians 4:6, "...God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba Father’...God has made you an heir." (NIV)
Deuteronomy 31:7-8, "Be strong. Take courage…God is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you." (MSG)
*On a personal note, I was blessed more than twenty years ago to have a step-dad who filled in a lot of the gaps my own father didn't. And my daughter’s father is trying to get his life in order so he can be a dad to her.
God is good!