A Father With No Regrets

BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR My husband is a strong man. But, as our five children well know, he’s also a sentimental softie when we reach certain milestones. With each graduation, each moving out, and each wedding, there comes a moment when Jim will cry. Whether it be a speech or a toast or a quiet moment hugging goodbye, their big, strong father will break down in tears. This spring and summer, our youngest child graduated from college, will move to Austin to begin his new job, and marry his childhood sweetheart. It’s the Great Sentimental Milestone Trifecta. We’ll need tissues. Lots of them. Jim’s tears spring from a deep well of love for our children. There are, however, tributaries of regret which flow through his heart. Opportunities missed, unfulfilled plans, whispers of inadequacy—did he do enough? Did he prepare them to go out and live in this world? Indeed, can any earthly father do enough? Among the many word-pictures in scripture given to us to help us understand God, “Father” stands out. The first person of the Godhead isn't only the Father to Christ, his eternal Son, but throughout scripture he calls himself Father to those he draws to himself, his adopted children. Through the prophet Hosea, God speaks these sweetly paternal words to Israel: When Israel was a child, I loved him,     and out of Egypt I called my son. . . . . it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;     I took them up by their arms,      . . . . I led them with cords of kindness,     with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,     and I bent down to them and fed them. (Hosea 11:1, 3, 4) A Father With No Regrets Even though no earthly father can live up to the perfections of our heavenly Father, we still recognize in these tender passages the heart that beats in the chest of so many fathers we know and love. The imperfect love of our fathers points us to the perfect love of our heavenly Father, who will never weep for opportunities missed or hold regrets that he didn’t do enough for his beloved children...

A Father With No Regrets2022-05-04T23:16:07+00:00

On Suffering and Christ our Cornerstone

WENDY ALSUP|GUEST “I'm so sorry.” Many of us have heard these words from someone delivering life altering bad news. I've heard it more than once – the kind of news that turns your life on its side. With one sentence, your world gets tipped. The floor of your former life is now a wall. The wall is now a ceiling. Furniture is toppled. Everything seems out of place. How do you find your footing in this new toppled version of your previous life? In John 14, Jesus sat with His disciples, preparing them for their own lives to be turned on its side. He was about to die, and despite teaching them about His coming death, He knew they would be shaken. They hadn't understood or accepted that He came to die, as Peter's rebuke of Jesus in Matthew 16:22 showed. Yet, Jesus had compassion on them and gave them a sweet promise in John 14:18 to sustain them in the coming days when everything they thought they understood about Christ would be turned on its side. “I will not leave you as orphans.” Jesus said He would send them a Comforter, a Counselor who would remind them of the teachings of Christ. In fact, the Apostle Paul calls this Counselor the very Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9). The same power that rose Christ from the grave would indwell and empower Jesus's disciples (Eph. 1:19-20). That same power indwells us. Through several rounds of the kind of life altering news that turns everything on its side, the Spirit of Christ has reminded me of the teachings of Christ, particularly that He is our sure foundation, our Cornerstone. This is a truth we desperately need when everything is toppled by unexpected news...

On Suffering and Christ our Cornerstone2022-05-05T00:38:50+00:00
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