It was Friday.
Not only was it the best day of the week, it was pay day. As a 16-year-old, I couldn’t quite decide on how to spend my pay check.
Do I save it?
Do I buy the new Nikes I want?
Do I put gas in my car?
The “low fuel” light answered the question for me. While filling up at the gas station, I also noticed another light blinking on the dashboard.
Windshield wiper fluid? What high school junior even knows what that is?
Being the cocky teenager I was, of course I knew how and where to fill up the windshield wiper fluid. I didn’t need to ask for help. I unscrewed the cap, and poured the fluid aggressively into the tank…the wrong tank.
I had filled the tank where the oil goes with half of a gallon of windshield wiper fluid. I didn’t know much about cars but knew enough that if the engine starts smoking continuously, you have a problem.
It took my entire paycheck to fix the car. I hadn’t even cashed the check yet, and it was already gone.
Driving home, I was furious.
I wasn’t angry at myself for the mistake, I was angry at my father. I had been estranged from him for nearly a decade. When I got home, I immediately called him and left him a voicemail.
“Hey Bob, this is your son Brian. Remember me? Any way, I just spend $400 to fix my car for filling the oil tank with wiper fluid. The way I see it is, you owe me $400 for never being around to show me where to fill up the wiper fluid. I’ll be expecting the money soon.”
As I hung up I knew the money was never coming. I knew an apology was never coming. I was without my paycheck and without a father.
It’s sad but similar stories seem to be the norm today. There are too many sons and daughters without fathers loving them. As a husband, father of five, and a pastor, how do I point the people I love most to a loving, Heavenly Father when I have no idea what a good father is?
I want to share with you a small verse in a small Old Testament Book that may not be the typical verse used when thinking of God as a Father.
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with his love. He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
People will always fail us. But there is a Father who will never fail you or leave you. God isn’t just watching over you, He is walking with you.
Knowing God as a Father begins by believing God when he says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) Jesus came down to seek and save you. He seeks and saves you still. Even if your earthly father left and abandoned you, Your Heavenly Father is with you and He will never leave you.
Maybe your earthly father was present in your life but you never felt cherished by him. You Heavenly Father cherishes you! “He will take great delight in you…”
Think about this verse. Your Heavenly Father doesn’t just love you, He actually LIKES you. He looks at you and smiles.
If God had a calendar, your birthday would be circled on it.
If God had a wallet, your picture would be in it.
If God had a tattoo, it would be on his arm and have your name on it.
Don’t believe me?
“See I have engraved you on the palm of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:16)
“You were bought at a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:20)
Never once does your Heavenly Father regret the price He paid to adopt you into His family. He doesn’t just delight in your performance; He delights in you!
There is nothing you could do to make God love you more, and there is nothing you could do to make God love you less. He already loves you to the fullest extent of His love.
Psalm 23 gives us a great example of How our Heavenly Father quiets us with His love. He makes us lie down in green pastures. He leads us beside quiet waters.
Life with five kids is LOUD! Sometimes its a good loud when we’re laughing, and sometimes it’s not, especially when there’s crying!
I need the quiet love of a Heavenly Father.
The peace from knowing that God loves me quiets the noise in my life. The love of a Heavenly Father can quiet the noise in your life, too.
One of the most beautiful moment’s I’ve got to share with my kids is singing to them when they were babies. I would hold them, rock them and sing over them. I think that’s one of the things a loving father does.
Imagine that! The same voice that said, “Let there be light” is singing over you–you are His beloved child!
The Hebrew word for “rejoice” in Zephaniah 3:17 means “to spin around with great gladness.” My 2-year-old always wants me to spin him. The smile on his face and the sound of his laughter when I spin him is amazing. He trusts me not to let him go.
You can trust your Heavenly Father with every area of your life…He will take you up in His loving arms and never let you go.
I have always told my wife that I may not know what to do as father but I do know what NOT to do. After experiencing the love of God, I wouldn’t agree with that statement any longer. I know what to do because I know what’s been done for me in Jesus Christ.
My Abba is WITH me.
My Abba is FOR me.
My Abba takes great delight IN me.
My Abba QUIETS me with His love.
My Abba REJOICES over me with singing.
No one can be a better father to my kids than me because those kids are mine. They are the love of my life. But the love of a Heavenly Father spreads far and wide to all His children…and you’re the love of His life, too.
Guest author Brian Byquist is the campus pastor at The Crossing Church in Keokuk, Iowa. He and his wife, Ashlee, live in Hamilton, IL with their five children, three cats and one dog.