Being a Father
1 John 4:9-10 “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
I can honestly say that I never knew what it would be like to be a father before I had my daughter. Words from others who have experienced this joy can never come close to the feeling of actually being a dad. "Is it possible to truly love someone this much" was a question I’ve often pondered but couldn’t imagine. Then my daughter was born and my perspective on life changed. I now understand and sympathize with others in ways I never could before. When someone experiences pain and loss of a son or daughter, I can understand what they feel. I can feel the fears they have for their child’s safety. I can feel the joy they have when their child reaches a milestone. I can feel the frustration they have when things seem to be out of their control. I see how being a father is so much more than I ever thought and the emotions that come with it are more than I could have imagined. Being a father has given me new insight into this fraternity of fatherhood. One that wants to protect her from harm and to not do this would be akin to failing in my responsibilities as a dad. Taking her to daycare for the first time was such a moment that felt as if I was turning my back on her especially when she cried out. The pain and agony I felt is nothing I’d want to go through again and to watch my child suffer felt like the biggest condemnation of me especially as one who is called to love, nurture and protect. Daycare itself was not suffering but watching her cry literally broke my heart.
Its funny how there are times when the things we read in the bible really hit close to home. The story of Abraham and Isaac is such a story. I picture Abraham walking with Isaac knowing what he was going to do. I think of what it must have been like knowing your only son was about to be sacrificed. I think of Isaac not knowing what was about to happen and I think of the relief Abraham must have felt when God told him to stop and that He would provide the sacrifice. Several years later God would keep His word. The same cries I hear from my daughter when she suffers is the same cry God heard from His Son on the cross as He cried the words “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” This time though, God kept silent. As I continue down this road as a father, I now look at my Father with an even greater love. Love for a Father that sat silent as His Son cried out to Him. Love for a Father who loves me unconditionally as His child. That’s what the cross did. That’s the Father we serve and that’s the Father in whom I will rest.