The scene belonged on a Father’s Day card. As a dad muscled a lawn mower ahead of him with one hand, he expertly towed a child’s wagon behind him with the other. In the wagon sat his three-year-old daughter, delighted at the noisy tour of their yard. This might not be the safest choice, but who says men can’t multitask?
If you had a good dad, a scene like that can invoke fantastic memories. But for many, “Dad” is an incomplete concept. Where are we to turn if our fathers are gone, or if they fail us, or even if they wound us?
King David certainly had his shortcomings as a father, but he understood the paternal nature of God. “A father to the fatherless,” he wrote, “a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families” (Ps. 68:5–6). Paul expanded on that idea: “The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.” Then, using the Aramaic word for father—a term young children would use for their dad—Paul added, “By him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’ ” (Rom. 8:15). This is the same word Jesus used when He prayed in anguish to His Father the night He was betrayed (Mark 14:36).
What a privilege to come to God using the same intimate term for “father” that Jesus used! Our Abba Father welcomes into His family anyone who will turn to Him.