It struck me yesterday sitting in church that the last few weeks spent waiting, working on the house have been nothing short of a gift. I can honestly say that the time spent with him working on tearing down a wall, rewiring the electricity, painting has shown me more about my father than years of living with him. And I realized that because I hadn’t spent this time with him before, I’ve severely misunderstood him and underappreciated him. It’s because I didn’t take the time to roll up my sleeves with him, getting covered from head to toe in sweat, dust, dirt, grime, etc. that I wasn’t able to see him at his core. And the same can be applied to my heavenly Father.
A great man, my father
I won’t tell you, “My father’s the best!” or, “I have the greatest dad in the world!” but I will not shy away from saying that he is a great man. And I wish that I had only been a better son and student of manhood up to this point. There are life lessons he’s taught me that I will never forget, and it’s because of him I view no task as too big (other than gutting a bathroom). I cannot express to you how fortunate that he is still around and cares to teach me today. While I’m grateful, I’m afraid I may not fully understand the value of this gift until it is gone.
A father to light the way
Is not our Father teaching us things about life, love, faith, etc.? In much the same way, isn’t He fathering us? Isn’t He trying to teach us His experience, His wisdom? Is He not encouraging us to join Him in a little work? But it’s hard and life is tough enough as it is. We don’t need to go on making it harder than it already is. Even still, He beckons us to join Him.
A Father’s wisdom
When we roll up our sleeves and go to work beside our Father, He lets us in a little closer and we are better able to see His heart. We are able to see better how deeply He cares for us and how He is trying to teach us something every step of the way. Not only is He teaching, but He is patient, loving, gentle. He knows we will make mistakes, He knows we will get frustrated, discouraged. Our Father works with us, reassuring us every step along the way. We find that our Father is good.
While I speak of my growing understanding and appreciation of my father, there have been people placed in our lives from whom we’re meant to learn. There are people we need to roll up our sleeves next to and do the dirty, unglamorous work of life. Similarly, we need to do this with God, our Father, as well. In the process, we learn about their heart, we enjoy and we glean from their wisdom and experience. This is how we live life. This is how we live faith. This is how we give and receive love. Most importantly, this is how we see God is good.