Sunday, June 16, 2013

What Fathers Do

Last week I was listening to some interviews of people who were impacted by the Colorado fire. A father was one of those interviewed, and they asked him how he was able to handle the things that had happened the way he was. His response (and I wish I could quote it) was that it was because he was a father and that’s what father’s do.

Today is Father’s Day, a day when people remember those special men who gave in so many ways to love, guide, shape and provide for and even protect their families. Most people have wonderful fathers, though it is not true for all, and I think it is a pretty safe guess that all of them had times when “they did what fathers do.”

Today Sarah writes about staying on the high road and not letting the many voices clamoring for our attention divert us from the path. As a father this is a difficult thing to do as the most important voices we hear are those of family, and trying to hear and attend to them often leads to prioritizing, juggling, balancing and sometimes even to great frustration when faced with demands that are beyond your present ability or understanding.

The apostle Paul puts this in a nutshell in 1 Corinthians 7:32-34 where he says, “One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided.” He goes on to say that this goes both ways, “…but one who [woman] is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”

God recognizes the added responsibilities that come with marriage and family, and yet he didn’t come up with a separate set of rules for the married/parent Christian to live by as opposed to the single Christian. And as a matter of practical fact, the married/parent Christian is more likely driven more to God than possibly the single Christian in that not only is he (or she) carrying for the responsibilities of one, but for a spouse and a family. Then times when you don’t know what to do may become multiplied to cover the others who are under your charge.

As such, it is even more critical that we bring our divided interests before the God who is One and who knows every intricacy of our circumstances and our needs. In our triune God we have a Heavenly Father who loves us beyond anything we could ever imagine, and a Father who is concerned about our welfare and is able to do what is necessary in respone to tend to that welfare. In God we have the Son, our savior and Lord, who understands our humanity and the pressures of this world, and who is our greatest Advocate. It is through Jesus that God spoke and it is Him who gives us the ability to approach the Father and speak with Him. And in God we have the Holy Spirit who indwells all believers as a comforter, counselor, and enabler. It is Him that brings even those prayers that we can’t put into words to our Father who listens. And it is from God that we learn to be husbands and fathers and wives and mothers.

So, when those pressures bear down on you, remember who it is that makes it so that you can stand and draw close to your Heavenly Father and lay your burdens in His more than adequate hands, seeking His wisdom for what you should do and how you should walk. Every single one of us has different sets of circumstances, and there is no cookie cutter path, yet God knows the path He intends for each of us.

Psalm 69:32-33 “…You who seek God, let your heart revive. For the Lord hears the needy….”

Psalm 37:23-24 The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (6/16)

Stay on the high road with Me. Many voices clamor for your attention, trying to divert you to another path. But I have called you to walk ever so closely with Me, soaking in My Presence, living in My Peace. This is My unique design for you, planned before the world began.

I have called each of My children to different path, distinctly designed for that one. Do not let anyone convince you that his path is the only right way. And be careful not to extol your path as superior to another’s way. But I require of you is to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Me – wherever I lead.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

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