I was an unexpected late-life child and experienced a mellower father than my older siblings. He even took the time to teach me the game of cribbage. That’s how I knew he cared. He showed love as instruction and not hugs or words of encouragement and praise.
When I was 23 my father passed away. I loved him but was sad to realize that I never really knew him and grieved for the relationship that was never to be.
This experience made it difficult for me to understand God as a loving, heavenly father. It was hard to relate to something I’d never experienced. When I was told that God loves me unconditionally and will never leave me, it sounded too good to be true. Surely if I spoke out of turn or misbehaved that love would be taken away.
What I now know is that no earthly father, no matter how loving, can measure up to the devotion God has for me. He has walked with me through joy and sorrow. He has been my strength in times of need. He freely shares his wisdom and has guided me to achieve dreams I never thought possible.
Although I have disappointed God many times he continues to love me. I am forever in debt to my heavenly father who has shown me the meaning of unconditional love.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NLT)