I was sitting at the dining room table, absentmindedly flipping through a copy of In Style magazine.
“I really like the look of these tassel earrings,” I said to my mom, “but all the ones I can find at stores are huge and gaudy. Oh well.”
I didn’t know it at the time, but it turns out that my dad, who was sitting on the couch across the room, was listening to our exchange.
A few days later, he presented me with a refashioned pair of tassel earrings (he’d taken a small white tassel off a store-bought pair of earrings and hooked it to a smaller pair of store-bought golden hoops). I was thrilled. They were exactly what I’d wanted, and nothing I’d been able to find. And they were made by my very own dad.
Not only did I get a new pair of earrings out of the deal, but I learned a lot about fatherly love too. I learned that fatherly love listens, that fatherly love cares, and that fatherly love provides. Personally, I’m blessed to have an earthly father who does these things (in big ways and small ways alike), but regardless of your situation with your earthly father, I’d like to remind you that, through faith in Christ, you have been grafted into God’s heavenly household. In Him, you have a Father who listens, cares, and provides.
FATHERLY LOVE LISTENS
Psalm 116:2 says, “Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.” When we pray, God listens. In fact, He delights in the prayers of His children. We can trust that God listens to every cry of our hearts…every craving of our souls.
A few years back, I had a hard time bringing myself to pray for small seemingly mundane things (you can read more about that in The Power of Prayer). I’ve always prayed consistently about big things like faith and fear and health, but I used to think that God shouldn’t be bothered with the little cares weighing on my heart. Dear friend in Christ, your cares are not a burden to God. If it matters to you, it matters to Him – even if it’s just that big exam you have coming up or your attitude with that frustrating coworker…even if it’s just feeling overwhelmed by family life or apprehensive about traveling in the near future. Pray about it. He listens.
FATHERLY LOVE CARES
Not only does God listen, but He also cares. Scripture commands us to “cast all [our] cares on Him because He cares for us” (1 Peter 5:7). Because of the Father’s great love us, He cares about our prayers.
Throughout the Bible, there are countless examples of God hearing His people’s prayers and caring for them.
He heard Abraham and Sarah cry out, barren into old age, and He gave them a son (Genesis 17:17-19).
He heard Moses, in the midst of his fear, and gave He gave him strength (Exodus 4:1-17).
He heard childless Hannah during her silent fervent prayers, and He granted her a son (1 Samuel 1:12-20).
He heard Elijah call for fire, and fire He sent (1 Kings 18:22-39).
The pattern continues in the New Testament. Jesus cared about the young couple whose wine vats ran dry at their wedding (John 2:1-11). He cared about a father and his young son, who was possessed by an unclean spirit (Mark 9:17-27). He cared about a woman who had suffered from a discharge for over a decade (Luke 8:43-48). He cared about Mary and Martha’s sorrow (Luke 11:1-44), and about the Samaritan’s sight (Luke 17:11-19), and about the hungry people in the crowd (John 6:1-14).
He cares about me, and He cares about you.
FATHERLY LOVE PROVIDES
Child of the Most High, because God listens and because He cares, we can trust that He will also provide. His providence colors every story in His Word, and I’ve seen it in my own life too.
In the words of the Apostle Paul, “…If God is for us, who can be against us? He Who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also with Him, graciously grant us all things?” (Romans 8:31b-32).
Through Christ’s death and resurrection, God has already given us everything. May we never cease to remember that even in the little things, He listens, cares, and provides.
Matthew 7:9-11 says, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”
Just last week, my earthly father gave me a pair of refashioned earrings. He listened, cared, and provided. As sweet as that was though, I know that my Heavenly Father blesses me with infinitely more. And for all of you in Christ, He does the same. Forever, I’ll sing to the One…my Father…who listens, cares, and provides.