A friend told me a story about an outing with her family. At the end of a busy day, she was walking back to the vehicles with her son and young granddaughter. It was a clear night and the sky was filled with twinkling stars.
The little girl looked up in awe and then stretched her arms up high to touch them. They weren’t as close as she thought so she reached even higher. When she couldn’t come close to grasping one, she looked at her daddy and said, “Can’t reach.” The loving father picked up his little girl and placed her on his shoulders so she could be closer.
The image of a child being lifted by her daddy to reach for the stars was a powerful one for me. I can think of many times in my life when I have reached for the stars and fallen short. It was unrealistic to think I could achieve something so unattainable.
There came a time when I knew I couldn’t reach high enough and gave up trying. My dreams became more down to earth. They were no longer big dreams but now I had a chance of reaching them.
Then came the day I was asked to reach for something far beyond my limited abilities. Tearfully I replied, “I can’t – it’s too big and too far.” My heavenly father smiled and lifted me on his shoulders. He lovingly held my arms up and told me that together we could reach anything.
Entrust your efforts to the Lord and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3 GWT)
My father didn’t know how to relate to his children. Men of his generation didn’t show emotion, so while I’m sure he loved his children; there was never any expression of his feelings.
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)
“If you have some ready I’ll come by in a couple of hours and pick it up.” my friend said. Turning to someone nearby she announced, “Tandy is my supplier!”
Let me backtrack so you don’t get the wrong idea. Two weeks earlier I had told my friend about my bountiful rhubarb harvest and the squares, muffins and pies I’d baked. She had been anticipating the day there would be enough regrowth for me to share.
God supplies this produce for me and I am happy to pass some along to others. When I stop to think about it, everything I have is due to the provision of my loving Heavenly Father. This is much more than the food I eat, the clothing I wear or the home I live in.
When I asked God what to write about for this blog post, he supplied me with the conversation that prompted these thoughts. I am inspired through the reading of his word and the beauty of nature. The people in my life are precious gifts that he has given. Every opportunity to serve comes about because of his provision.
I know that I’m not an exception. What he does for one, he will do for others. My Heavenly Father supplies me with much more than I need or deserve. The best way to thank him is by sharing his love with those I come in contact with.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 NLT)
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. (2 Corinthians 9:12 NIV)