A Father's Heart

From what my mom tells me, I was an accident-prone kid. I’m not sure if she’s exaggerating, but she says she didn’t think I would live past age 5 or 6. I remember it some, but becoming a father myself has changed my perspective on these kind of childhood accidents. Last week, one of my daughters got hurt two days in a row. She stubbed her toe really, really hard, and then she busted her lip trying to do something kind for her mother. They were accidents. I wasn’t in the room with her when either injury occurred, but when I saw her, saw how she had hurt herself and heard her cries of pain, my heart was breaking. Here was my baby, and she had hurt herself, and I couldn’t undo it.

I feel that also when one of my kids makes a bad, unkind or selfish decision. Yes, I can help shape how they make decisions, but, ultimately, they sometimes make decisions that are wrong, and my heart breaks when they do. And sometimes they make decisions where the consequences can’t be undone. My heart breaks from the consequence they or others suffer and from my failure to teach them better, but mostly, my heart breaks because they have chosen to be less than they could have been — and I only want the best for them. They have chosen to try to find happiness and fulfillment in things that can’t bring that to them, and I want them to find true happiness and fulfillment.

Experiencing these little heartbreaks as a father has given me hope as a son. If I, fallible and sinful, truly just want what is actually good and fulfilling for my children, how much more must our heavenly Father’s heart break when he sees that I choose to be less than he created me to be? How much more must he want to restore to me what I have given away through sin? How much more must he long for me to find the happiness and fulfillment he created me to experience?

A father can’t always fix what his children have ruined. Our heavenly Father has gone to great lengths, though, to restore to us what we have given away in our sins. He sent his Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, to bring us home, to bring us back to what he intended us to have, to bring us into the true fulfillment and happiness that we can only have in deep relationship with him. Through Jesus, we can, for the first time, be who we were created to be and can find true happiness and fulfillment. This is what the Father longs for for all of us. This is what he wants for me. This is what he wants for you. If what God wants for you is to give you true happiness and fulfillment, would it hurt to try out letting him do that for you?