"I'm sorry to inform you, we're going with another candidate", the scale went up instead of down, a friend let me down, the trip was cancelled because of weather, the cancer has returned, my team lost the game, a hero fell off the pedestal I placed them on...all these are examples of different levels of disappointment both in circumstance and people. Some would be considered trivial...some life altering. Some devastating. Some days it seems life is full of disappointments. I guess that's what we get living in a fallen world. As people we often disappoint each other. When I try to think of a person who has NEVER disappointed me, I can't think of anyone except my Dad.
I'm sure as a child, he disappointed me by not letting me go somewhere, or by not buying me something I wanted, but as a PERSON, I have never been disappointed in him. I guess you could say, I have him up on that pedestal. He always protects, always provides, loves my mother in a way I hope to be loved by a husband someday, always models true kindness for others, easy forgiveness, not holding grudges, slow to anger, loves God and made Him the head of our house, loves me even when I'm sure I disappoint...need I go on? Sounds perfect, doesn't he? In my eyes, he's pretty close. I do know he's not perfect and I also know he'll be a little uncomfortable with me saying all this about him...another part of his perfection.
So, you can imagine how I was knocked for a loop when Pastor Steve made the statement that my earthly father is just a pale comparison to my Heavenly Father. The Soul Shift that Sunday was Slave to Child. Moving from viewing God as someone we serve and try to please in order to earn our place in Heaven to a Father who we worship and emulate because we love Him and He simply gives us a place in Heaven because we belong to Him. We're His children. I've been grappling with this for the last 2 weeks. I would say I believe that in my head, but in my life, I live like a slave. I follow certain rules and hope to please. It's only been in the last few years that I have begun to realize, it truly is relationship, not rules. That even when I disappoint with my humanity, His love does not waiver. It's a hard mindset to change, but oh so freeing when you get there! Just like a slave who is released from their shackles.
I thank God for an earthly father who doesn't disappoint. I know I am truly blessed as I watch my students deal with disappointment in their fathers regularly. Fathers who don't pay attention, don't pay their support, don't protect, but abuse, don't really deserve the title of Dad. I thank God that He is a father to these children. But I thank Him even more that I have a Heavenly Father who makes Keever Grate pale in comparison. I can hardly comprehend the depth of His love for me!