“An earthly father expresses love for his children; it is no different with our heavenly Father; The Eternal shows His love for those who revere Him.” — Psalm 103:13
It was the summer before my 9th birthday, and my father and I were walking in Provincetown after watching Yellow Submarine. I was holding his hand as we wove our way through the Fourth of July crowd to get to the park, where my mother and sister were waiting with a picnic before the fireworks. My mind was dancing with images of Pepperland and the Beatles’ lively closing tune, One, two, three, four, can I have a little more? Five, six, seven-eight-nine-ten, I love you! A, B, C, D, Can I bring my friend to tea? E, F, G-H-I-J, I love you!
Then suddenly I heard harsh words, yelling, a rush of panic. Daddy squeezed my hand and pulled me quickly away from the altercation — which I wasn’t tall enough to see — and in seconds we were in a peaceful open space, as if it had never happened.
That’s what God’s love is like. God — Love Itself — is always here for us, like a devoted father, holding us close, keeping us safe from danger.
In the Bible, God is described over and over with fatherly metaphors. God has our back, no matter what. God is our refuge, fortress, tower, and shelter. He’s our rock. God is our shield, savior, keeper, shepherd, and guide. God even gives us piggy-back rides! He sings to us when we’re down, casts a shadow for us when we need a place to hide, and like a mighty bird, He protects us under His expansive wings. With doors always open, God is our home. A compassionate Father, He rescues us when we’re in trouble. We can count on this all-encompassing Love whenever and wherever we go. God also calls us to express this fatherly love when others need it.
So here’s my version of The Lord’s Prayer (Jesus’ words from Matthew 6:9–13), which I’ve written especially for Father’s Day:
Who has it together — in perfect rhythm, harmony, and balance
Your Name is impeccable; You have a stellar reputation
Your authority safeguards us at all times
Your righteousness wins out, reflecting Your good will everywhere.
Day in and day out, You give us what we need.
You forgive us for our wrongdoings, and grant us the courage to forgive those who do wrong against us.