I was blessed to have a Dad I adored. He made me feel special and always made me laugh. Not because he was funny, but because he thought he was funny and roared at every one of his own jokes. His infectious laugh was contagious and spilled over to everyone in the room. He was a comedic entertainer waiting for the right audience and just thinking about him makes a smile erupt across my face.
As a little one, growing up under the persona of this colorful, extrovert I experienced my Dad’s shadow to be a good one. Surprisingly kind and generously supportive, he made me feel like I was the apple of his eye. That was an assurance I carried through my life. It was a rare day I experienced his ill-will.
I know very well, that is not the case for many. Children around the globe grow up under dark and troubling shadows. Ones that bring heart-breaking disappointment, paralyzing fear and burdens of shame. Even though my Dad’s overshadowing was kind and loving, he like any other father could not safe guard me from evil.
Ascribing to the love and compassionate grace of the Lord Jesus, healing from deep wounds became mine, though not for many years. As many families do, mine held secrets and shame. As children struggle to over come pain a path of repentance and forgiveness paves the way for greater healing though many families opt for silence and denial. In the story of Eli the priest his sons made devastatingly poor choices while their father chose to look the other way. The consequence to the entire family and community was dire. Ultimately it even impacted the nation. (1Samuel chapters 3-4)
2Peter 3:9 describes the patience of God, wanting none to perish but all to come to repentance. Without question however, repentance is required from everyone of us. Jesus said nothing is hidden that will not be disclosed and nothing is concealed that will not ultimately be brought out into the open. (Luke 8:17). Being the light of the world, He experienced more than anyone rejection by those who were not lovers of truth. “For men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19).
As I reflect on how far the Lord has brought me, and the inner healing He has provided it really boils down to one thing: it was and still is His all encompassing shadow that far exceeds any of a natural father. It is this shadow I choose to live under and find my refuge in. Covering me with a sheath of protection, canopy of peace and more, for as Psalms 91 puts it; “He covers you with his feathers and under his wings you find refuge.”
My heart warms every time I think of my Dad, and I look forward to meeting him again soon. I have no doubt in that city above the sky he will greet me with the same beaming smile and infectious laugh that welcomed me through out my life. But the father’s love that has healed the deepest part of my heart has not been his. It belongs to my father God. A God so great and majestic He spoke a word and created the heavens and earth, yet so intimately personal, He has saved my tears in a bottle. (Psalm 56:8) Divine intimacy with the Father of Lights. That is what we were all made for. That is what we all deserve.
*To listen to a little love song this daughter wrote for her Dad- click on the audio file below.
*If this speaks to your heart, please share it with a friend and subscribe to our ministry email below!