We will all remember parental instructions given to us as children. Things like, “get away from that hot stove,” “stand up straight,” “always tell the truth,” “play nicely,” “study hard,” “always do your best,” “call me if you need anything.” Some of those instructions we understood right away, but with other directions, we had to grow up a bit before comprehension sunk in. Nonetheless, for those of us blessed with loving parents, we knew they had our best interests in their hearts. They wanted to provide for us, keep us from harm, and train us to grow up into a person of good character with integrity..
Those thoughts came to me today as I was reading in Proverbs 4:10-13: “My child, listen to me and do as I say, and you will have a long, good life. I will teach you wisdom’s ways and lead you in straight paths. When you walk, you won’t be held back; when you run, you won’t stumble. Take hold of my instructions; don’t let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life.”
Isn’t that lovely parental advice from our heavenly Father? Do you sense His care and desire to keep us safe? Can you feel His yearning to provide for our needs and to lead us along the best paths for our lives? Sometimes He says “yes” to our desires, while at other times He says “wait” or even “no.” All His words to us, and everyone of His instructions, are designed to give us life and to give us life abundantly on earth, filled with peace, kept in love, and overflowing with joy that will go on and on and on.
Oh, to be a child of God, having such wonderful daily instructions for living. What a wonderful, kind, wise, and loving Heavenly Father.
This morning I was making my usual cup of coffee to start my day when something in the kitchen reminded me of my Dad. I reflected for a moment, recalling a past conversation; then, more memories of many conversations began to flow. I stood at the window smiling. My Dad and I often said that he and I shared a sense of humor that was unique to us. What he meant was this: he and I could get each other laughing to the point of tears! It was bending over, stomach hurting laughter! To tell the truth, there have been few such moments of belly breaking laughter since my Dad went to heaven. No one makes me laugh like he did, and I don’t make anyone laugh like he laughed with me.
Those memories are precious to me. They don’t make me sad; they make me smile and chuckle to myself, and fill me with so much thanks for the Dad I had and what we shared together. As I was recalling all of this while standing in the kitchen this morning, my thoughts wandered from my earthly father to my Heavenly Father. I smile at things recalled concerning my earthly father, but great comfort and joy and peace comes when I recall things concerning my Heavenly Father. My earthly father is no longer with me, but my Heavenly Father is with me always. He speaks comfort into my heart when I am sad. He shares joy with me when I am happy. He places His own peace into my heart when I am troubled. He reveals guidance to me when I need to know the way. He gives me His own wisdom when I need to make a decision.
Memories of my earthly father give me great joy of things that have now passed. However, the things of my Heavenly Father lives on each day. He has always been, is now, and will always be. His words to me are fresh everyday; they give life, because His words are life itself. This mystery is told to us in John 1:1- 5: “In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and He was God. He was in the beginning with God. He created everything there is. Nothing exists that He didn’t make. Life itself was in Him, and this life gives light to everyone. The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
How blessed we are to have such a Heavenly Father. He gives us so many wonderful promises in His living Word. Whatever we need to get through the tough times in our lives is revealed in His Word. When we choose to follow His Words, we are promised freedom from unrest; we are given instead, a peace that this world cannot understand. As the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:44-45, “I will keep on obeying your law forever and forever. I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.”
May you all be filled with peace and joy today as you remember the promises of your Heavenly Father in your own lives.