A Father Reminisces
This week, I completed 31 years of fatherhood. It struck me as odd that during the week when our message series on Mistaken Identity is peaking with clarity on our identity in Christ, I was celebrating the day I became a dad and my oldest son took his first breath. I remember the day vividly. I remember the faces in the LDR, the conversations about what would happen. I remember the face of the anesthesiologist who suggested I sit down for the epidural procedure, a knowing smile planted subtly on her face.
Kelly had complications and was terribly weak for several weeks after David arrived. In the hospital, I had a crash course in caring for a newborn while worrying about my wife’s health and recovery. I exposed him to his first copy of Bassmaster magazine, hoping that a little subliminal suggestion would bode well for the future. But mainly, I was stunned by what was happening in my own heart as I cared for him in those first hours of his life. I had no concept of how that would take root in the years ahead.
We loved playing catch and simulating a pitching duel in the backyard. Even today, it’s not out of the ordinary for David to ask if I want to play catch. With two damaged shoulders, my “inning” count in the game doesn’t last as long as it used to, but the enjoyment of that old competition has not waned. We would wind up talking as we counted strikes and balls, and we still do that in a similar fashion.
As a dad, what I wanted most for both of my sons was a sense of blessing, a sense of the joy they brought me, and a confidence that could grow from that fertile emotional soil. I wanted them to understand that I would go to any length necessary to help them, but I would also give them room to face challenges with their own wits, skills, and maturity. So as I studied for a message on our identity in Christ and what that means, I began to sense something fresh. We tend to think of God’s grace, blessing, and redemption as something He had to do to bail us out of our problems. We forget that His JOY was wrapped up in loving His children. We forget that it was his PLEASURE to reveal His heart to us, walk with us in fellowship, and have us ABIDE in Him. It was always about that joy!
And as I count the 31 years of my own joy, it makes me realize even more about the passion of God for HIS kids, just as we experience passion for OUR kids. He WANTS to give us a secure identity. . .if only we will accept it!