I had the best father ever!
My parents divorced right around the time I was 4 years old. I remember the day my father drove away from our home that final time. He didn’t go far. I was blessed to have lived near my father for the next few years and saw him all the time. Then we moved from Staten Island to Manhattan, but I still saw my dad often. Sadly, I lost my father when I was only 21. He passed away from heart problems and emphysema. No loss in my life has been as great.
When I was between 3 and 4 years old, my dad would tuck me into bed each night. Without fail, he was there to put me to bed. He would tuck me in under my blankets with such detail and care. My father was very detailed and very methodical in everything he did!!
And every single night, without fail, I would wait for him to finish tucking me in and then I would tell him I was thirsty. And EVERY single night my dad would smile and tell me he would go get me a glass of water.
While my father was in the kitchen getting me my water, I would disrupt all the carefully placed blankets and hop out of bed, slide open the door to my closet, and hide inside. My father would come back in my room with water in hand and say “Oh no! Where is Diane? I can’t find her!!” and I would giggle from inside my hiding place. And each night he would search the entire room, saving the obvious place for last. Then I would call out to him and he would discover me in the closet with excitement and feigned relief and pick me up, put me back into bed…again with great care…and give me my water.
This routine played out night after night after night. Each night, my father would go through the motions of pretending he had no idea where I was. It was fun! I miss my father’s laughter so much.
One thing occurred to me years later. Despite knowing very well that I was going to hop out of bed and hide on him, he would still tuck me into bed with great care and detail. The fact that I was going to mess up the blankets placed with such care didn’t matter to him. He did it anyway. Perhaps he did it in case one night I didn’t hide (that night never happened!!). But I believe he did it because he felt I warranted such care. Much for the same reason he went through this grand routine night after night. I believe he enjoyed this game as much as I did, which could explain why he never once came in the room with water in hand to begin with.
I am sure there were many nights he was tired or wasn’t feeling well. But I never knew it. It never deterred him. He never deferred that routine to my mother. I think he knew she wouldn’t tolerate my shenanigans the way he did. And I would squeal with delight each time he found me, somehow believing each night that I had fooled him! Somehow believing if I had never called out to him he would not have found me!
My father was the first picture of God in my life. To this day, I look back at my father and see how he showed me a picture of God’s love for me. My first Bible came from him. My first answers about who God was came from him. And my first image of God as a loving, caring, tireless Father came from him.My father was the first picture of God in my life #Jesus #Godslove Click To Tweet
The same way my father would tuck me in with such care, knowing I would burst out and wreck what he had carefully designed….God, knowing that there are so many plans and so many designs for my life that I recklessly plow through, continues to put them in place. His great love for me keeps Him from being deterred from each small detail of grace, mercy, love and care in spite of how I sometimes fail to recognize Him in it. Despite how many times I wreck His perfect design for me….He is faithful to set me back carefully where I belong, never failing to go searching for me when I “hide”.He is faithful to set me back carefully where I belong #faith #god #bible Click To Tweet
The same way I would hide from my father each night and he would search me out, God has searched me out and picked me back up and placed me safely back where I need to be time after time. He is tireless, He is enduring, He is faithful, He is merciful and He never fails me.
For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.” Ezekiel 34:11-12 (NKJV)He is tireless, He is enduring, He is faithful #God #faith Click To Tweet
When I was lost, He found me. When I would rebel, He would find me and bring me back. He would be jubilant when I was found, just like my father rejoiced at finding me tucked in a ball in my closet. Just like the parable of the prodigal son…He rejoiced at finding me when I was lost and He rejoices still, each time I turn to Him and allow Him to set me back on the right track when I slip up or mess up His plans for me.When I was lost, He found me. #amazinggrace Click To Tweet
And He does the same for you. If you are lost and hiding, He is searching for you. If you have taken a detour and headed down the wrong path, if your walk has somehow turned into a crawl..he is waiting there to set you back where you need to be with love and care. Just call out to Him.
We have the best Father ever…
We have the best Father ever... #God #faith #Bible Click To Tweet