Fathers have an overwhelming, amazing job. They have the task of helping create, care for, protect, teach, and encourage a tiny human being. From keeping it alive through childhood to launching it into successful adulthood in the world, this is a job fraught with difficulty and joy. It’s not a job for the faint of heart… or the slow of reflexes!
When we consider the range of emotions parents face: fear, love, disappointment, triumph, frustration, adoration… it’s a dizzying pendulum. And it’s one God, as our loving father, experiences as well. How often has God been disappointed in me? How constantly has He loved me even so?
The steadiness of God’s love is something we can depend on. Even when our own earthly fathers have failed us, even when mentors or fellow Christians or our friends have disappointed us, God is constant and will never fail us.
Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. Psalm 27.10
The rain over the last few weeks has been astonishing! Our street flooded to the point ducks were actually swimming up the block. Long-time residents say our neighborhood has never flooded so deeply. Even here at church, the flood puddles poured over the tops of my shoes as I darted in and out on the rainy days. It has been miserable!
Except, only a few weeks ago, we wanted more rain! We humans love to complain, don’t we? We complain about the drought, the heat, the rain, the cold, our sports teams, each other. Complaining and discontent seem to be inherent in human nature. While it’s a common trait, it’s one we should work to curb. Through constant vigilance we can reframe our discontented thoughts. Each “bad” thing is also an opportunity or a chance to change our expectations.
On a rainy day, it’s much better to focus on the moisture for growing things, the cooler temperatures while the sun is obscured by clouds, and the soothing sound of raindrops on the roof. I try hard to focus on the green of the church lawn instead of the depth of the parking lot puddles. Difficulties, struggles, and unexpected events are certainly challenging, but when has life been anything but challenging? Isn’t life meant to challenge us so we can grow? While we won’t be 100% successful in eliminating complaining from life, being mindful and aware will help us be more content with where we are and more aware of where we need to go.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” – James 1:2