Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
~2 Timothy 2:11-13~
I read something recently that resonated with me. I was flipping through my Bible and stumbled upon a passage in Exodus that caught my attention. In Exodus 22:22, it says, “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless.” I started thinking about this passage and read a little further, hoping to gain some insights. Fatherless. On the surface, my thoughts were drawn to single mothers and those whose fathers simply weren’t around. As though, the fault of being fatherless lay on the father alone. It occurred to me that there might be another meaning here. What does it mean to be fatherless? What is the impact of being without a father? Is it the same as being without one’s Father?
The point of the verse in 2 Timothy is to show us that God is always there for us, whether we choose to acknowledge Him or not. It is meant to give us that sense of security that comes from knowing that we have a Divine Protector, an Almighty Provider who loves us unconditionally. In the context of our fathers, the availability of the “man” who is responsible for our being is of no less importance than how we view God’s availability to us and in fact serves to shape our relationship with our heavenly Father. If we have had a broken relationship with our own father, how does this translate into trust issues we may have with our God? Can you be a good Christian if you are still struggling with “daddy issues” from your past? If you haven’t forgiven your father, can you truly receive the blessings that God has for you?
It has been so important to me that my daughter appreciates her father. Although we are divorced, I have always said that my ex-husband was a wonderful father and that my daughter is very lucky to have him. I hope she will always acknowledge this and that in doing so, she will be strengthened by the knowledge that not only does she have a wonderful Dad, she has an awesome Father. Sounds corny, I know, but he really has been great about showing our daughter that he loves her and not all men are capable of doing this. Look around at the terrible behavior of some of the people out there today and tell me that they had strong, dependable father figures. You won’t be able to do that. The truth is, the worse a woman is treated by her father, the less she trusts her Father. The less she trusts her Father, the more damage she does to herself and to those around her.
One of the things I’ve struggled with was wondering whether or not my own behavior was the reason behind some of the suffering I have endured in my life. Part of what I found in Exodus helped me to see that this was not the case. God was not punishing me because I had made mistakes. He was trying to show me the right way and as long as I was ignoring Him, I was suffering. For those of you who know my testimony, you know that I’m referring to a period of several years of self-destructive behavior that I inflicted upon myself because I was holding onto anger and pain from my past. I did so even to the point of blaming five miscarriages on my own bad choices. In reality, miscarriages are not punishment for our behavior. As my Bible puts it, they are the consequence of living in a fallen world. These losses have little to do with cause and effect in terms of what we might have done and much to do with the overall impact the world is having on our lives. I bring this up because not only did I lose five children, I lost several years of my life to sorrow and grief. I lost a relationship with someone I loved dearly. To put it plainly, I lost a marriage.
So much happens to us in our lives and if we are not on the right path, we are so vulnerable to compounding wrong reactions and making wrong decisions. There are times when we need to get alone and get with God and let Him help us sort things out. We need to remember that He is forever faithful, even when others may not be. We need to understand that the more we lean on Him, the more He will guide us to what is right for our lives. When we try to do things in our own power and in our own time, we will certainly do more harm than good. Sometimes, it may take years to undo the damage of one wrong decision, if it can ever be undone. It is so much easier when we hand it over to the Father and say, “Help me, please.” The degree to which we trust our Father dictates the degree to which His blessings will fall into our lives. If we endure, we WILL reign with Him. Pushing through something quickly just to make it go away will not resolve the issue. It will only put new issues in front of it to obscure its presence in our lives. Trust me, it will still be there waiting to be dealt with on the other side.
To not take advantage of the fatherless is to understand when someone is struggling in their relationship with the Father. To be aware that their actions may not be the same as they might be if they were walking in relationship with God. To understand that it does make a difference and that if their eyes were opened, the way they treat us would be so completely different that we might not even recognize them. Is there someone in your life who is Fatherless? Can you see what might be different if they possessed the spirit of trust in their hearts that comes from knowing their Father? If you can, do yourself a favor and forgive them. If you need to, take some time and figure out where YOU stand with your Father. The problem may well exist on both sides of the table.
May the LORD now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this.
~2 Samuel 2:6~