By Missy Smith
I grew up with a great father. He was always in my corner to cheer me on and to tell me that he loved me. I can remember at a very young age feeling special to him as he would take time to play with my brother and me. He would often take time to sit and read a Bible story to us out of our Big Bible book.
My dad was often the disciplinarian when I needed it, and he was my fun when I needed a laugh. He was often the strong arms to hold me when I felt unsafe in the world. He was the shoulder that I could cry on when life seemed overwhelming. And he always found a way to be the teacher when I needed guidance.
Dad, serving his life faithfully as a chaplain, is without a doubt the first person I saw living out ministry as his life calling. As a child, I would sit behind the nurses’ station at the hospital while he prayed with a family in life’s most difficult situations; and I would spend many Christmas Eves handing out gifts to the nurses and the doctors who had to work on the holiday. Back then, I had no idea of the true impact of the example he was setting for me. I have seen him greet strangers with the sincerity of Christ’s love and minister to their needs.
As an adult, I am able to call him and sort out some of my tough theological questions without any judgement. I can also call him to ask for prayer when I am having a hard time handling the hard situations in ministry. As I have grown into my adulthood, I have learned that Dad is a dear friend that I can always depend on.
Even though life is hard and curve balls come our way, I am thankful for this guy and thankful for the example in serving the Lord he has given me.
My girls also have been so blessed. They have been gifted amazing grandfathers that have led and an equally amazing father that have led, and continue to lead them by example. My incredible husband cares for them so tenderly and compassionately while bringing such joy to their days.
I know that when my girls someday enter the beautiful world they were created for in heaven they won’t be overly surprised by the love of God because my husband has given them a stunning demonstration of what it looks like to be loved by God.
The way my girls are loved by their father and the way Dad loves me is a simply a glimpse of the way that God loves us.
When I asked my girls what their favorite thing about their dad is one said, “He’s just fun to be around;” and my other daughter said, “When I talk to Dad he just makes me feel better about life.”
The Bible tells us in Psalm 103:13 “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.” When I read this verse, I think of my own daughters’ words and how thankful I am that their father has given them a beautiful picture of the love of God. Just as they said about their earthly father, when I spend time with God, I too feel better and find joy in His presence. It’s amazing how it’s that way with God, our Father, as well.
I know that not everyone has these great stories of a loving father, and my heart breaks for those that do not. My prayer for ALL people this Father’s Day is that you all may look at the examples of loving fathers that we have here on earth and see the depth, width and height of God’s amazing love for each of you.