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Spiritual Life

Father of the Fatherless

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Billy was a young man who grew up hard. He came from a poor family and acquired the responsibility to work at an early age. Having barely known his Father, Billy had to learn how to be a man from his uncle and his grandfather.

His mother read the Bible to him and tried to fill his father's shoes but there's only so much that a single mom can do. But, she tried her best. From his earliest memory Billy loved music and couldn't wait until Sunday morning at church. The choir director called for the choir to come forward, meaning that anyone who wanted to sing could come to the stage and join the choir. Billy always jumped at the chance.

Later in life, he had a couple of short visits with his father, but if Billy didn't contact him, he never contacted Billy. Years passed until a major event happened in Billy's life. He and his wife had a baby daughter. Billy wanted her to know her grandfather and he her.

Billy's heart was so full of love and appreciation to God for this beautiful baby that he contacted his father to share the news and extend an invitation to come. A short visit ensued but ended as quickly as it began. Through the coming weeks Billy was generous with pictures and news of the baby, which he shared with his extended family including his father, who lived in another state.

The time came when Billy was preparing to vacation with his family and pass nearby where his father lived. Naturally he assumed that his father would love to see his granddaughter so a phone call was made to make arrangements. When Billy asked for a time to come his father said that he was busy that weekend. When Billy proposed another time he got the same response, too busy. After several attempts to schedule a time to just drop by, Billy got the message. His father had no interest and did not want to see his granddaughter, or his family.

With a broken heart, anger began to rise up within him. A lifetime of rejection culminated in this fresh rejection of his new baby girl. In anger tempered by righteousness indignation, Billy finally stood his ground. He told his father, "All my life you have rejected me. I have suffered at your hand through no fault of my own. Now you are rejecting my daughter! I will not have her ever ask me, 'Daddy, why doesn't Granddaddy love me?' Oh no. From this moment forward I will not give you another opportunity to reject her again. You want to be left alone? You got it!"

That was the last time they ever spoke. Billy broke down as he hung up the phone. He went to the men's room, locked the door, stood over the sink and wept. Tears of pain, regret and hopelessness flowed like a river down his face. Rejected and alone, he grieved. Not only did he grow up without his father, now his precious daughter wouldn't have a loving grandfather. The loss was too much to bear.

With a firm grip on both sides of the sink, Billy slowly raised his head and came face to face with his image of pain in the mirror. In this moment, in the depths of his despair, his heavenly Father spoke to his heart.

"Son, He said, I am your Father. My love for you is unwavering. I have always been there for you. When you sang in the choir, I was there for you. When you are lost in indecision, I guide you. When you and your team won the city basketball championship, I was present cheering for you. And when your daughter, whom I formed, was born, I was there rejoicing with you. Son, I am with you always."

He continued, "Your earthly father may have let you down but son, here in heaven you have many fathers, and they all love you. Take comfort and peace in this fact my son."

The Bible describes God as, "Father to the fatherless" (Psalm 68:5 NLT).

Jesus said, "For the Father himself loves you dearly" (John 16:27 NLT).

From that day forward Billy always said a special prayer on Fathers Day to his heavenly Father to recognize Him on that special day. It always ends the same, "Happy Father's Day Father! I love you!

Copyright © 2013 Gene Markland. Used by permission.

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