Happy Father’s Day!

“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy.”Psalm 68:5

Two days ago, I ran into a young lady who is a tennis coach. Our conversation after that took me down the memory lane. In my childhood days, I remember us having a table tennis court at my house, and I was like daddy! Today, on father’s day, with nostalgia as always, I remember my dad who taught me some great life lessons that helped in shaping my life and my relationship with God. Things like early morning family prayer altar held in a sanctuary dedicated to that purpose.

My dad was a practicing lawyer and a businessman with chains of hotels and movie theaters; combining those mean quite a hard work, O yeah, my dad was very hardworking, and I think I have that genes run in me — a gene which I inherited from both parents. I remember my dad as a generous father, he was philanthropist, but he was also a very caring father to his children and one thing I like about that, is that he usually make provisions available for us children even when we don’t ask for it. Once a child asks for something, other children in that age and academic bracket get the same. (We are many, don’t ask me the number🤣) Anyway, what that did for me is to teach me how to lean on God for my supplies, believing He already knows my needs before I ask Him, just as Jesus told us-

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon, in all his glory, was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:25-34

Maybe, you are reading this, and you are full of regrets about the wrongs your father did or the goods he did not do. Remember nobody is perfect except God the Father. As good as my dad was to us the children, he was not perfect like any other earthly father, he had his shortcomings. The only ideal father is God.

“Jesus responded, “Why do you call me good? Only God is truly good.”Mark 10:18

“The Lord is your mighty defender, perfect and just in all his ways; Your God is faithful and true; he does what is right and fair.”Deuteronomy 32:4

I want to say this to you, that no matter what your father has done wrong, please forgive him. It’s for your good! It may be hard, but you can ask for the grace to do so. More so, there are scriptural blessings attached to that. Maybe your case is that of an absentee father, who was never there for you. I can relate, and I can understand because, at a point in my life, my good dad was no longer there for me. The man died! I was barely a teenager, fifteen going to sixteen. So, you can imagine not having a father for the past thirty-eight years. And I missed his fatherly care, no father to ask questions or to run to, to escape my mom’s punishments any longer in those growing up days and so many things came up with his demise. Honestly, I feel you. But I have found solace in the eternal Father, the one who is from everlasting to everlasting. A Pastor Gene Veith wrote-

“We should see God as the actual, literal father. “Earthly fathers have certain remote similarities to Him. The essence of fatherhood is found in God, not in human beings.”

God has us in mind from the foundation of the earth, and all we ever need to do is link up with Him. Have you done that? If yes, great. If no, you can do that now.

“For it was always in his perfect plan to adopt us as his delightful children, through our union with Jesus, the Anointed One, so that his tremendous love that cascades over us would glorify his grace—for the same love he has for his Beloved One, Jesus, he has for us. And this unfolding plan brings him great pleasure!”Ephesians 1:5‭-‬6

And fathers, please be there for your children, while you are still living.So let’s play a game. What childhood memory do you have of your father? To all good men out there playing the role of a father_ uncles, step-fathers, mentors, and pastors, I say a Happy Father’s Day!

Damola Treasure Okenla, June 2019