Senior minister Mat Yeo reflects on his own father, who recently entered glory, as well as on our Heavenly Father.
Excuse my indulgence, but this should prove cathartic for me and hopefully encouraging for you.
Some words on my father. And some words on our Heavenly Father.
For those whose fathers are no longer around, at some point you have probably stopped and pondered what they were like and what you learned from them (good and bad). Here are just five reflections about my dad that I want to be spurred on by. And words that I hope you might take encouragement from.
- A Bible man. From his conversion as a teenager, Dad devoured the word of God. He studied it. He learned Bible passages from memory. He never did a theology degree, but he was always a student of the Bible. And he taught his kids to love the Bible. We were never without Bibles or Bible reading aids or encouragement to read.
- A church man. Our family met with our church family every Sunday. Without exception. It was as natural as breathing. That was a real blessing, and it taught me the value of prayer, Bible and fellowship. I have never stopped loving gathering together.
- A godly man. When Mum started receiving cards from friends after Dad’s death, nearly everyone used the word ‘gentleness’ to describe him. There are many fruit of the Spirit that I would have used to describe him, but that one stuck out. As he walked with God, Dad was being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).
- A caring man. Dad always had time for us. He cheered us on, he sacrificed for us, he loved us unconditionally. And he loved God’s people. He faithfully served at church until ill health meant that he no longer could.
- A gospel man. The good news was indeed the good news and people needed to hear it. Dad practised that at work, with our wider family and with friends. Even just a few days before the Lord took him, I watched Dad evangelising his brother.
St Aidan’s brothers and sisters, what will your legacy be? What will people say of you? What will the Lord say of you?
And of our Heavenly Father…
This Father’s Day, we will all remember our own dads in different ways. We all have our own experiences. And there is no perfect human father.
But God is our perfect Father in heaven. In him there is all the joy and peace and delight that will fully satisfy. We praise our Father in heaven.
Jonathan Edwards expressed it like this:
“The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. …[these] are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the ocean.”