My father is one of the most difficult people to find a gift for. If you ask him what he would like, he will give you some wonderful ideas like a new truck or lake home. Unfortunately, his suggestions are not in my budget and I would like to get him something.
If anyone happens to quietly observe him in need of something that would be a useful addition in his life, he will go purchase that item 3-5 days before Christmas, Father’s day, or his birthday.
What do I give to the man who provided for me for so long? The man that simply hugged me and said if I wanted to move home he would love to have me home again when I found myself pregnant from a one night stand. The man who made sure all my debts were paid when I was negligent with money. The man who loved me in spite of myself. The man who still checks my tires and asks me how long it’s been since I’ve had the oil changed even though I have been married for 10 years.
A hunting and fishing magazine just doesn’t seem to cut it.
My 8-year-old daughter has the same struggle. With little to no funds and not a lot of options, what does she get for the man who smiles at her when she confesses? The man who provides for her, and the man who loves her in spite of herself for Father’s Day.
My daughter had to try though, just as I try every year with hunting magazines, decoys, favorite foods, and whatever else I hope will bring a smile and appreciation from these men who love us so well.
Our home has been a battleground for electronics as of late. It has lead to the need to peruse the kid’s rooms at night to be sure they are getting sleep and not staring at a screen into all hours of the night.
One night while my husband was doing a recon mission in our daughter’s room, he found some interesting things in her desk drawers. A half-eaten (and obviously soupy) container of ice cream and a bottle of tea.
When my husband asked her about the tea that was obviously opened and someone had sampled, she burst into tears: this was meant to be to his Father’s Day gift. Luckily dad found it before it turned into a bottle of mold in her hot desk drawer.
Our earthly dads are hard enough to give and do things for.
What do I do for the God who smiled down on me when I was pregnant from a one-night stand? What do I do for the Heavenly father who paid all my debt? What do I do for the heavenly father who loves me in spite of myself?
Paul says that all of our works are like filthy rags. No matter how great of a treasure we think they are, our works are more like an opened bottle of sweet tea in a hot desk drawer.
We receive from God, always. He gives, always. He gives and we receive: that is how our relationship works with our Heavenly Father.
If this seems absurdly one-sided, that’s because it is. His position in our relationship is giving and doing while our part in the relationship is receiving and resting.
Abraham was sleeping when God made his covenant with him (Genesis 15).
We were dead in our sin when God saved us (Rom 5:8).
We pray and the holy spirit intercedes with groans too deep for words and our Heavenly Father gives us what we ask for (Rom 8:26-27; Matt 7:7-12).
We can not give our Heavenly Father anything that will make him love us more or less. He gives and we receive.
Much to my father’s chagrin, there may come a time when we have a relational shift. When he is older, I may give more and he may receive more.
But that shift never happens in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. The relationship remains constant. He gives. We receive.