This month’s calendar includes a day to honor fathers, but I want to tell you a true story about two mothers, my role models, and the way they thanked their heavenly Father for blessings.
My ninety-eight-year-old mother-in-law, Carolyn, went to her heavenly home earlier this year. When the family prepared to sell her home, I removed the plaque you see in the title photo. It hung on the wall over her table where we had eaten delicious fried chicken and biscuits for decades.
Carolyn had written my mother’s name and the year 2014 on the back of the plaque. Mama gave it to Carolyn as a birthday gift in August of that year. Mama died the following December.
Life was hard for these two beloved ladies, who each lost their fathers to tragic events during childhood. As girls and young women, they lived in near poverty and struggled through trials and disappointments.
Yet both surrendered their lives to Christ and lived lives of joy-filled faith in their heavenly Father. Rather than complain, each of them exhibited a cheerful outlook and gratitude for His blessings.
Today when I prayed about what I’d share with you, I looked above my desk and read the words on the front of Carolyn’s plaque. “God our Father, we thank You for our many blessings.”
Although we’ll honor fathers we know this month, let’s pause to focus on our heavenly Father. In a passage where Paul calls Christians to live a holy life and separate themselves from sinful living, he includes God’s promise,
‘I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty.2 Corinthians 6:18 NKJV
Imagine the privilege—sons and daughters of Almighty God.
My mother and mother-in-law understood although their earthly father was absent, their heavenly Father adopted them into His family (Romans 8:14-16) because they’d previously surrendered their lives to Christ. They knew the truth of John 1:12,
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.John 1:12 NKJV
The words “receive” and “believe” in this passage define God’s children as those who acknowledge Jesus as God’s Son, the Messiah, and surrender their lives to Him. Jesus clearly says, He is God’s only provision for salvation and eternal life with Him (John 14:6).
As God’s children, we can look in the Bible and list His numerous attributes which describe Him as the perfect Father. Today, let’s focus on those David recorded in Psalm 103:8-14. As we read the passage, let’s pause to thank Him for each quality.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;Psalm 103:8-14 NKJV
He remembers that we are dust.
Take the truth with you
As we read Scripture this month, let’s list on paper or in an electronic journal the attributes of God we notice and how they make a difference in our relationship with Him. Let’s ask Him to show us the kind of Father He is and why we can trust Him. This practice will surely deepen our love for Him and remind us to pray the words on my mother-in-law’s plaque: “God our Father, we thank You for our many blessings,” including the privilege of being Your child.