Before I was called to ministry, I worked at a local bank as a trust officer. Trust departments, for those who don’t know it, administer funds to beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of executed wills and trusts. At the time, I was responsible for distributing and/or managing large inheritances. It was, in many ways, both wonderful and wearisome. Typically, when a person receives notice that they have been named in a trust or will there is excitement and gratitude. After a time, those feelings of delight often devolved into attitudes of entitlement and expectation.
As a young man in his twenties, I never could understand the desensitization my clients experienced. Surely, if a loved one bestowed upon me a vast fortune I would never forget where it came from and would always display humility in accepting this generosity. I would not become angry if my request for discretion was denied. I would not demand to speak to the Senior Vice President about the rudeness of a rejection. I would never take for granted the generosity of the one who gave me so much. I would simply be glad for what I had been given.
“…and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” Colossians 1:12
It is important for me to remember that my heavenly Father has given me an inheritance. Am I still appreciating the riches that have been bequeathed to me, or have I begun to feel entitled? According to the Scriptures, the children of God inherit His kingdom, a reality where God makes His dwelling place among His people and provides comfort, strength and security for all who are His. As royalty (a child of the king) very need is supplied by my Father, the king, simply because He desires to provide for me. When was the last time I paused to offer thank for this immeasurable gift?
Honestly, thanksgiving is not as prominent in my conversations (with my Father or with others) as it ought to be. I complain when my requests for discretion are denied and I am not granted whatever whim I want. I pout when my perceived ‘needs’ are exposed as the luxuries they truly are. After figuratively throwing myself on the floor and pounding my hands and feet into the carpet, I eventually come to the conclusion that my Father is a better manager, a better judge of need, a better provider than I am. He has given everything I need and more. For that I am increasingly grateful.
Sunday is Father’s Day, a day to appreciate and recognize the one who provides for and protects his children. I am blessed to have a father who provided for me and my siblings, who equipped me with a strong mind and a strong will and who remains a source of support to me today. Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I am also blessed with a Father in heaven who has given me a hope and a future that far outshines any trouble the world may deliver. Happy Father’s Day, Abba! For all who father children – your own or the offspring of others – whether you are a single mother, a foster dad, a big brother or a proud papa, Happy Father’s Day this weekend!