Certain Native American tribes had a rite of passage for their teenage boys. At age 13 a boy would be blindfolded and led to a certain spot in the woods. He would be forced to sit down while the men of the tribe returned to their camp. The boy would be required to sit all night with his blindfold in place. He was forced to listen to the frightening sounds of the night. Once he felt the warmth of the sun as it rose in the east, he was allowed to remove his blindfold. The first thing he saw when he removed it was his father sitting across from him. The boy’s father would sit with him all night, protecting him from the animals of the wilderness, yet he was not seen by his son.
This is a fitting illustration to describe our Heavenly Father. In those times we feel as if we are all alone and blinded in the world, He patiently waits at our side waiting for us to take our blinders off and see Him. No night is too deep and no danger too great that He should leave our side.
AS Christians we have learned that there is only, “One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:6). He is our provider and our protector. “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in His holy habitation” (Psalm 68:5). He is the one who forms our being, “But now, O Lord, You are the Father; we are the clay, and You are the Potter; we are the work of Your hands” (Isaiah 64:8).
Yet, despite His goodness we too often forsake His protection and choose the unreliable protection of the world. We deny His goodness and resort to selfish ambition to satisfy our worldly desires. “Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?” (Malachi 2:10).
Even so, His compassion for us never wains and His love for us never departs. “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him” (Psalm 103:13). Notwithstanding our ignorance of His goodness, He continues to shower upon us, His children, every good gift, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).
The greatest example of a father’s love can be seen from our Father in heaven, who remains vigilant in His desire that we all find our life in Him and with Him for all eternity. He will never stop providing opportunities for us to seek Him and He will never forsake His love for us, no matter the mistakes we make along the way.
He is a Father who always forgives completely, just in the asking. So great is His desire for us that he gave His only Son so that we might live forever with Him. So great is His mercy and grace that He now sees us through His Son so that we appear white as snow.
In his book, What’s So Amazing About Grace , Phillip Yancey tells the story of Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway grew up in a very devout evangelical family, and yet there he never experienced the grace of Christ. He lived a libertine life that most of us would call “dissolute”… but there was no father, no parent waiting for him and he sank into the mire of a graceless depression. A short story he wrote perhaps reveals the grace that he hoped for. It is the story of a Spanish father who decided to reconcile with his son who had run away to Madrid. The father, in a moment of remorse, takes out this ad in El Libro , a newspaper. “Paco, meet me at Hotel Montana, Noon, Tuesday… All is forgiven… Papa.” When the father arrived at the square in hopes of meeting his son, he found eight hundred Pacos waiting to be reunited with their father. Was Paco such a popular name? Or is a father’s forgiveness the salve for every soul? (Sermoncentral.com).
Our Father in heaven will never stop searching for us and, even more importantly, he will never give up on us. Despite out shortcomings he showers us with forgiveness. Despite our own impatience, He is forever patient with us. Despite our blindness, he will never leave us. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3).
Put your faith and trust into the Father of fathers who will never leave you or forsake you. Rely on Him in times of trouble and follow Him away from the dangers we face in life. Open you eyes and see that God the Father is with you. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us as Your adopted children. Teach is to respect you as one who cares and protect us from the frightening sounds of the night. May we feel the warmth of your love and the brightness of Your glory. Amen.