Rest in the Father
We can rest in our Father’s Heart.
Yesterday was Father’s Day and although we celebrated my husband, the father of my three treasures, my heart couldn’t help but simply be sad. I lost my dad three years ago, so naturally pain gets resurfaced on days like yesterday. I’m sure this was the case of many people. As I scrolled through my facebook feed, seeing happy, smiling pictures of dads and grandpas, I just had to stop after a while. Do I rejoice with those who rejoice? Absolutely. Do I love seeing generational legacy of men and the strength they signify in families? Most definitely. But, I know that this is a hole I have missing and yesterday I couldn’t ignore it.
My dad was taken from earth, but I am also aware...painfully aware... that there are so many that are missing their father, even though they still walk the earth. Many of those stories are riddled with pain and unfathomable hurt. Losing a dad hurts- whether its by death or decision. Our hearts instinctively want and need a Father- a protector, a provider, and a place to rest. And when that father/father figure is not there, that hole keeps us striving and working to fill it, to no avail on our own.
Our earthly fathers give us glimpses of the perfection of our Heavenly Father. The feeling I most strongly associate within myself when I think of my dad is rest. Everything just seemed to be okay when he was around. My heart was at peace.
When I was two my dad went to school at night and I refused to sleep until he came home.
My mom said when he came home from a missions trip to Mexico that I just held onto him for hours. I didn’t cry, I wasn’t upset. I just wanted to stay with him.
When I got into trouble as a teenager, my dad just pulled me into his arms and gave me grace.
In college, when my dad came to visit, I had a few days that I knew I didn’t have to strive and I could just be taken care of.
And even as an adult, my challenges just seemed so simple when I talked them through with my dad.
With my dad, my heart was at rest because this is what a father signifies in a child’s life. I rested because I trusted my dad. And I know many of us, children and adults included are searching for the rest that comes from being with the Father.
Even though I can’t bring my dad back, I know there is a Father that is even more perfect than our earthly dads. He is the rest we are searching for.
Is it truly that simple? Trust means rest? Yes, it’s true. The issue comes when our trust comes with conditions. Yes, we trust God, but when He doesn’t act immediately, then we start to doubt. Yes, we trust God, but when He doesn’t act the way we want Him to, then we start to take matters into our own hands. Yes, we trust God but we’re not truly certain of His love for us. After all, we see all that is imperfect and hurtful in our world...and wonder why a loving Father would allow His kids to go through THAT.
I won’t attempt to answer the why questions because they can’t be answered. I don’t know why my dad died of cancer. I don’t know why your dad abandoned you. I don’t know why your dad hurt you. We live in a fallen world that is truly not our home, but while we are here, we experience hurt and pain that can’t be explained away.
BUT, I do know this.
We need to seek after His presence because in Him we can rest.
We need to desire Him more than anything. We hold on to the promises in His word. We spend time with Him. We just want to stay with Him.
We allow Him to pull us into His arms and give us grace.
We don’t have to strive, doubt, or worry because He takes care of every need.
When we talk to Him, every complicated, deep issue suddenly becomes clear and simple. Because the answer is simple. Trust.
Don’t complicate trust- all that does is prevent you from the rest He wants to give you. Stay still. Stay quiet. Listen for His voice. Read His word. Pray. Worship. All of these are acts of trust. He delights in you... and loves you perfectly. Whether we had an earthly father that gave us glimpses of that rest or not, God is the Father that our heart desires- the perfect Father. He is working all things together for your good. And He proves time and time again in His word that HE came to make all things new... no matter what mess, what hurt, what wound we give Him, He will transform it into something beautiful.
Fathers and mothers- all of you who are leaving a legacy, give your children a glimpse into that rest. Speak words of life. Listen to their cries. Make your home a place of rest and trust. Wrap your arms around your babies and give them grace (even when they take a kitchen towel and try to cover up their mess from potty training on the carpet). Teach them to be thankful for what they have been provided because you have their best interest in mind. Lavishly love them and delight in them. Remember, you are just a glimpse and a reflection meant to point your children to the Perfect Father... you are not meant to be the ultimate Father. Just as you delight in and give grace to your children, there is plenty of that for YOU from your Heavenly Father.
Teach your children to rest in Him.
Take that step to let go and trust in Him.
Let your trust be the entry to rest in the Father