Weather Report From Heaven: Sunny and bright, with an abundance of light and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture- “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”- Ephesians 6:4
Thought of the Day- Father’s Day is a day that can certainly lead to mixed emotions. For some who enjoyed great relationships with their dads, it is a day of joy and celebration. For those who did not have a good relationship with their father, or who maybe suffered great pain or even abuse because of their father, this day can bring back lots of those old, yet still painful memories. I am one who didn’t have the relationship with my dad I desired. In fact, my dad left our home when I was 12 years old, and the next 25 years of my life were filled with pain, anger, fear, disappointment, unworthiness and self-loathing. I had a dad wound the size of the Grand Canyon. I couldn’t understand why my father never spent any time with me, and so I figured I was the problem. The truth was he was walking in pride, and being destroyed by alcohol and womanizing. But because I didn’t grow up in a Christian family, I had nowhere to take my pain and anger, so I decided to just anesthetize it as much as possible with things like marijuana, alcohol, sex or gambling. I was running away from my pain and it was leading to me becoming an empty soul. However, at age 37 my next door neighbor who is now my wife, invited me to go to church with her. After some time of rejecting her offer, I eventually accepted and Jesus Christ came into my life like a lifeline from heaven and removed all my bitterness, anger and self-loathing with His love that swept over me like a perfect North Shore wave. He told me He loved me, that I had incredible worth, that He had been by my side the whole time and was waiting for me to move towards Him. He told me i was wonderfully and fearfully made and that He knew everything about me. He told me He had died to pay the price for my sin and I was forgiven. He also then told me I needed to forgive my father. That took a little digesting. I protested “but Lord, shouldn’t he apologize to me, after all isn’t he the one who abandoned me, he’s the alcoholic, he’s the womanizer etc. Jesus simply said to me “ forgiving your father will set you free. You are carrying a burden that is too big for you to carry. It will kill you if you don’t release it to me. You are drinking the poison of anger and bitterness and hoping your dad gets sick. But you are the one who continues to suffer by holding onto your grudge.”
Of course, Jesus was right on and as soon as I wrote a long letter forgiving my father of everything I could think of, I instantly felt a 25 year Gorilla size burden fall off of my back. I had been set free from my bondage to revenge, and I had never felt more alive. God can heal even the biggest wounds in our lives if we allow Him to take a scalpel to them. He is a God of completion and He never wastes any of our pain. Forgiveness is an elixir to our soul and it thwarts the enemy’s attempts to keep us in bondage to our past. The God of redemption has now allowed me to be a father to two wonderful children and although I make many mistakes, I always try to have time for them and to show up for the things that are important to them. I want to end the cycle of adultery and alcoholism that has riddled my family with generational sin. I thank God for His power to make beautiful things out of the ashes of our life. Being a father is the greatest honor and joy in my life and I hope it is for you as well.