June is the month when we celebrate weddings, graduations and dads. It is the latter I would like us to consider in honor of Father's Day coming up this Sunday. I think you will enjoy this amusing story.
A young father-to-be was pacing back and forth, wringing his hands in the hospital while his wife was in labor. He was tied up in knots of fear and anxiety; beads of perspiration dripping from his brow revealed the agony of his suffering. Finally at 4:00AM a nurse popped out of a door and said, "Well sir, you have a little girl."
He dropped his hands, became limp, and said, "Oh, how I thank God it's a girl. She'll never have to go through the awful agony I’ve had tonight!" Wow!
Someone has wittily observed, "A father is a man who carries photographs where his money used to be."
Fathers are pretty special. Though (contrary to the above story) the full burden of childbirth is not upon dad, he does shoulder a great responsibility for the new arrival. I remember how humbled and awestruck I was at the birth of our first child. I still can't get over the fact that he is now over 38 years old. Where did the time go!
My life was shaped in many ways by my own Dad. I can definitely relate to this description by Mark Twain: "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years." My admiration and respect for my father has increased with each passing year.
I am very thankful for my Christian heritage. I am at least a fourth generation Christian, and probably more. That does not mean every relative was a Christian (not even close), nor does it mean I inherited salvation. I needed to come to the place of repentance and surrender to Jesus Christ on my own. But it does mean that I have had the blessing of Christianity influencing my life and family for many years.
When I was young, I'm not sure I would have said that as a positive statement. Now that I am older, and hopefully wiser, I recognize the blessings and benefits of that godly heritage. If you have had the same legacy, I'm sure you rejoice in it too.
You may not, however, have had the privilege I had to grow up in a Christian home. You may not have had godly parents and grandparents pray for you and teach you about Jesus Christ.
But you can start a legacy of your own. You can begin the blessing that will extend beyond your children to your grandchildren (or to other family members or loved ones). You can be the godly example they need.
The picture of a loving Father begins with God. Jesus taught the disciples to pray, "Our Father...." Paul declared, "...you received the spirit of sonship. And by Him (the Holy Spirit) we cry, 'Abba, Father'" (Romans 8:14-16).
We have been adopted into His family as sons and daughters. How precious to be able to call Almighty God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, our "Daddy!"
He truly is our Father God.
Aloha ke Akua!