Women of Reverence welcomes Myra McAlpine as a guest blogger.
Myra is wife to Bruce. Mother of two beautiful girls, two handsome boys, two Schnauzers and a cat (who thinks she runs the show) and part-time mom to whoever is staying at their home at any given time.
She loves Jesus with all her heart! Her hobbies include running, CrossFit and lying on their trampoline staring up into their huge Camphor tree (aka daydreaming).
Together with her husband, Bruce and their amazing team of elders, they lead Lighthouse to the Nations Church in Norwood, Johannesburg and they serve on the NCMI Global Apostolic Team.
Father’s Day, 21st of June. Mustaches, beer mugs and braai tongs seem to be the icons around the celebration of Father’s Day.
For some of us Father’s Day is a day for celebrating and spoiling our dads who spent a good portion of their lives navigating us through the challenges of life. For others of us Father’s Day is a bitter reminder of the men who were supposed to be there for us and to protect us but who have abandoned us or abused us in the worst possible ways. This has left deep scars on our hearts that hinder us from becoming all we are meant to be.
When we look at the Bible, there are so many examples of men and women who grew up without their fathers. They stand out in the pages of the Bible as men and women who impacted a nations history and who point us to THE Father.
The first example that comes to mind is that of Moses. Moses was found by Pharaoh’s daughter floating in a basket on the Nile River, at a time when Hebrew babies were being slaughtered. Though weaned by his mother, he was raised in Pharaoh’s court.
(Read the full story in Exodus 2) Researchers say the “weaning “ period could be anywhere from 2-6 years of age.
Scripture does not tell us what influence his dad had on him those early years, but imagine growing up in a dual household so to speak, like a lot of children do today whose parents are divorced. Moses became the deliverer of a nation. His time in the wilderness forged his relationship with his true father, his Heavenly Father.
Then there is Joseph...his father’s favorite. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers because they were so consumed with jealousy because of their father’s favoritism towards him. Some of us might have considered selling off a sibling into slavery, but none of us have actually done it(I hope;) He was around the age of 17 when this happened. He was ripped away from a loving father at an age where boys need their fathers to mentor them and guide them. Those of us who have lost a father to death can relate. God did not leave him there, he made him to be the second in command of the whole of Egypt.
Then there was Esther. Do you know that she was an orphan? She was raised by her dad’s brother Mordecai. She was beautiful, and was taken captive by the kings officials and groomed for her night with the king(she was one of many virgins taken captive). She made such an impression on him, in her beauty and her character, that he made her his queen. God took a young Jewish virgin, and made her a queen because she needed to save a nation. What a story! (Read it in the book of Esther)
What about Samuel...He was God’s answer to his mother’s desperate prayer to have a baby, and then she had to give him back to God like she promised she would. He too grew up without his father(and mother)and was raised by the priest Eli and became a renowned prophet in Israel who anointed the greatest king, King David and have two books of the Bible named after him.
Further along in the Old Testament, King Josiah became the king of Israel at the age of 8 after his father was assassinated. My boys could just about read fluently at that age - I can’t imagine them leading a country while building legos and jumping on the trampoline. Yet the Bible says of Josiah in 2 Kings 22:2
He did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right.
Lastly we have our ultimate example, that of Jesus our Lord. He left left his Father, was born a baby and became the savior of the world when he died on the cross for our sins. Throughout his lifetime we don’t hear much about his earthly father, but we see him looking to his Heavenly Father. We see him forsaken by the Father as he hung on the cross and he cried: “Father, father, why have you forsaken me.” But yet he prayed hours before: “Not my will, but yours be done.”
Like Jesus we might feel abandoned by God at some point, but our victory lies between the moment when Jesus breathed his last breath and when he rose from the dead three days later.
We might feel abandoned but God is working behind the scenes to bring breakthrough and victory in our lives, just like Moses in the desert, Joseph in prison, Esther in exile, and many other examples in the Bible.
The Bible says in Psalms 68:5
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
this is God, whose dwelling is holy. During difficult times, God wants to show himself faithful. He tells us in Deuteronomy 31:6 that He will neither fail you or abandon you. He is our loving Father, and like the heroes of our faith who had to endure hardships of many kinds because God was building nation savers/influencers/changers/kings and queens, so He is building us and forging our destinies.
On this Father’s Day, let us celebrate our dads and honor them and let us also celebrate our Heavenly Father. He is worthy of so much more than a day in our year, or a prayer in our day.