Most of us learn things from our father as little children that we draw upon later in life, often coming to the realization that we learned patience, or fairness, or empathy from the man we looked up to the most. When I had a challenging day caring for my three children just being little ones, I would remember how my dad had patiently sat on many a park bench watching his two little daughters swing and slide on playground equipment when he surely had many more pressing things to do. I would remember every weekday morning when it would have been easier for him to pick out his own tie and cuff links, part of a business man’s wardrobe in the 1960’s, that he instead let me pick the tie and cuff links of the day. At age four I felt very important! When we would come home from a trip downtown or to the grocery store, Dad would allow me to sit next to him and help steer our car’s wheel as he cautiously entered our garage. What fun that was! When I was a young woman living far from home and struggling with personal loss, he waited for my nightly phone calls and would talk with me for as long as I wanted him to stay on the line. He was always there to listen and share his wisdom, and he helped me to be a loving parent when I had children of my own.
For differing reasons, there are many of us who did not experience the blessing of a rich relationship with our own father. God has seen and understands all that you have missed. He is our heavenly Father, Who loves us each as if we were His only child. And when we draw near to His waiting Arms and allow Him into our world, we will also learn from Him.
The God who created the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, because it is He who gives to all [people] life and breath and all things. And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories. This was so that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grasp for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and exist [that is, in Him we actually have our being], as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ Acts 17:24-28
No matter how wonderful, no earthly father can compare to our heavenly Father, the Giver of our very breath. In this new year ahead, take time to learn of Him. He is never far from you.