It is 11 PM on Father's Day. My siblings and I have spent the day with Dad—playing games, eating, drinking, and making merry. Mum got the old photo albums out and we poured over the images of us as kids—looking for the candid ones of us with our father.
As we celebrated the great Dad that we have, I felt a heightened awareness of the depth of love and intimate connection between a parent and offspring. I am not a father, so have not experienced this personally, but I know what it is like to be a son—and a well-loved one at that.
Through the photos I could see how life changed for my Dad when we came along. We became the centre of his attention and love, the reason for his work, and something to care and provide for.
Throughout the day it became more and more real to me that this father-son-type of relationship is what we were designed to share with God.
It can be so easy to think of God as this far off cosmic entity taking no interest in the lives of people, but that could not be further from the truth. He craves this father/child relationship with us.
Children of God
The Bible tells us that we are his children. He is our father, and we are his prized possessions.
He created the world for us to inhabit as his children, and to have relationship with him. The truth is that he wants us adults to have the same reliance towards him that we had as children towards our parents.
He will be our provider, he will take care of us, and it is his will that we would not be neglected but nurtured and loved.
When I look back on my childhood I remember so many times that I would make a mess of a situation and my reaction would be to expect my parents to deal with it and sort it out. Regardless of what went wrong I just let them take the wheel. There was nothing that Mum and Dad could not take care of.
The confidence that I had when I was out with my dad was huge, because I knew he had my back and it was in his nature to make sure I was safe and secure.
That is how God wants us to view him. It is his will that he is the one we rely on completely. He wants us to walk around with our confidence in him as our father.
A greater father
Sadly, there are many people who have not experienced having a great father and so may find the concept of that kind of relationship with God hard to come to terms with.
But God picks up where others fall short, and given the chance will prove himself as the most committed, caring, loving, provisional, graceful father, far beyond our capacity to understand.
Samuel James is a Media Communication graduate based in Wollongong.
Samuel James' previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/samuel-james.html