Pause and know the Father’s love

by John Hamstra

John Hamstra and daugther Addy in 2009 on a Daddy/daughter Valentine's dinner

The other morning I was getting up early to head into the office. I had a full day of work a head of me and wanted to get things going as soon as possible.   My goal was to make it out the door before any one of our four children woke up and needed food or a diaper change.  However, before I could make it to the end of the hallway my daughter had woken up and caught me in the middle of my grand escape.  

She proceeded to ask me if we could eat breakfast together.  Weighing the amount of work that needed to be done that day with the simple petition of my 6- year-old daughter wasn’t a hard decision.  We both sat down with a bowl of cereal and talked about what the day looked like and how she was enjoying her new “Little House on the Prairie” book.  At the end of our breakfast she said to me, “Daddy, I know what I want for Christmas!”  This was a bit surprising to me since it was the middle of August. She continued, “I want an alarm clock!”  Being a little confused at why an alarm clock would be at the top of a 6-year-olds Christmas list, I asked her why.  She replied, “So that I can get up early with you every day and have breakfast with you.”  My heart melted.  I was busy thinking about the day’s demands and my growing to-do list, while my daughter was more concerned about her relationship with her Daddy. 

Contrast that with our three boys who always want to wrestle, play Nerf swords (now that’s a Christmas gift!), and watch Bear Grylls eat jungle animals.  The counterpart to quality time is busyness.  The temptation can be to get so task oriented that we tend to neglect the vital dimension of relationship: quality time.  My boys and I want to go places, accomplish things, and eat whatever we can get our hands on.  We have to be purposeful about stopping and sitting down to make time to go deep.

Jesus, in his high priestly prayer (John 17), reveals what he is about to accomplish with his death and resurrection.  As Jesus is praying we get a glimpse into the relational dimension of the Trinity. It is here in prayer that Jesus is simply talking to his Father.  Jesus shows us what eternal life is; knowing the only true God.  And with his death and resurrection he makes a way for us to share in knowing His Father.

Daughters crave time with their fathers.  This craving doesn’t end with adolescence. Women of all ages are hard wired to desire and thrive with relationships.  If eternal life isn’t just about serving God but instead relating to Him, we have a lot to learn.  Fortunately for us God continues to invite us into a deeper relationship with Him.

The next time we get a chance to eat breakfast with one of our kids, remember, life is not just about what we can get done, its about walking hand in hand with our Father, who loves us. The love I have for my daughter is incomparable to the love of God. Let’s pause and know the Father’s love.

John Hamstra is the senior pastor of Mercy Hill Church in Munster, Indiana.  John graduated in 2000 from Purdue Calumet with Bachelor’s in Business Management.  He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. John lives in Highland with his wife and best friend, Michelle and their four children.

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