One thing is always true: when we return to Him, He always welcomes us back and restores us.
- Jim Shempert
Life around my house is very interesting these days. My little girl just turned three and her imagination has started running wild almost overnight. For some reason, we are now focused on monsters, and them “getting me.” No matter the assertions to the opposite, my little girl’s imagination has decided that there are monsters in the dishwasher, in the closet, and in the woods outside our home. In her mind, there are moments of impending doom waiting around the corner. Her daddy feels the same way.
When you scroll through your Facebook page or open a news site, all you see is impending doom around every corner. The world has seemingly lost its mind. Everything that was once honored and cherished now appears to be going by the wayside. Government continually intrudes on the lives of its citizens. We see police officers becoming enemy number one, a country that is ready to split at the seams, and a world lost in its sin, reaping its plantings.
My brother Teddy James wrote that he wouldn’t tell his daughter that monsters weren’t real because the world provided far too many examples of just how real they are. I believe he is correct. Fathers are going to have to explain things to their children that generations before us never thought of.
So what is a father to do? Sit back and say “Woe is me!” If you think that is where I am going I would suggest you familiarize yourself with One Million Dads.
Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:4-9)
In all this chaos, it is comforting to realize that even though all this turmoil might feel overwhelming at the moment, it’s not new. Man has turned his back on God many times throughout history. One thing is always true: when we return to Him, He always welcomes us back and restores us.
Being a protector is one of the vital roles of fatherhood. My daughter looks to me when she feels threatened. I’ve taught her a little mantra about something getting her. Though a joke, my aim is to instill in her confidence that her dad will always take care of her. She recites proudly, “If a monster was to try to get me, my daddy would skin it, eat it, and wear it like a shirt.” Then she giggles really loud and goes on about her day. The power of that ‘monster’ is vanquished because someone is willing to stand in the gap between it and her.
My main goal in this life is to teach my daughter of the One who will always welcome her back when her fears get the better of her, when the world seems to overcome, or when she strays too far from Him. The loving Father is the best depiction of God that I can give to her in a world that is so bereft of love.
My attempt to instill confidence in her is nothing compared to the confidence that God provides for those who are in Him. “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
Despite the bravado I exude to her, my only real hope is a Savior who loves me, even though He shouldn’t. When I have failed Him more times than I should, He continues to pick me up out of the dirt and washes me again. It is in Him that I truly have the confidence to face all the monsters of this world.
His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand
Edward Mote ~ “My Hope is built on nothing Less”