Summary: These are reflections of being a new dad and how they correlate with our relationship with the Heavenly Father
TEXT: Psalm 23
“Reflections of a Father” – Part 2
A number of years ago, a book was released on the subject of the 23rd Psalm. This book was written from the perspective of a Shepherd. It provided many unique insights on the special relationship between sheep & their shepherd. The author made an enlightening observation. Sheep only lay down when they feel completely safe & at peace. Many times when we have a lot on our minds, we will still go to bed & try to sleep. But sheep won’t even try, unless they have total peace.
3. My daughter will reach a place of total peace & fall asleep in my arms.
One thing I’ve learned, is that if there is anything bothering her, I’ll know. She will make it very clear that something is not right. She’s not at the point where she can tell me what it is, but she can tell me that something’s wrong & she wants it fixed now. Like I said before, I then have to use my psychoanalysis & deductive reasoning to figure out what that is.
If you’ve ever been around an infant, you’ve probably noticed that loud noises frighten them. Certainly, Mackenzie is no exception to that. However, if you’ve been around me long enough, you will hear that I have the most violent sneeze. I can’t sneeze quietly. And my sneezes usually come in packs. They travel together in threes. And every time I sneeze, she jumps about a foot of my lap. Then her face begins to contort. What was once a beautiful smile begins to drift downward at the corners of her mouth. And when it couldn’t possibly go farther, she finds a way to make a frown that will break your heart in two. Of course, then she starts to cry. And I try to tell her that I’m okay, but that doesn’t work too well. So I hold her close & try to calm her down.
Now she can fall asleep in two scenarios: (1) the one I just mentioned where she’s keyed up & not very happy. Many of us sleep at night like that. We’ve got a lot on our mind & we sleep, but it’s not restful. Or (2) she can be at total peace & sleep soundly. It may be elementary, but I can tell the difference. When she sleeps, I can look at her face & tell how she is sleeping. If she has fallen asleep at peace, she will often smile while she sleeps. But if it is restless sleep, I know that she will require extra care & patience when she wakes up.
The Bible says that God granted Solomon peace on every side from his enemies. God had established & blessed him. And when Solomon put his head to the pillow at night, he knew he had nothing to be afraid of. He was at total peace. Our Father longs to give us that peace: the peace that passes all understanding. That means, that even in the midst of trial & difficulty, we have perfect peace. When we should be restless & distracted, God grants us peace. He reminds us that He is our rear-guard. He will protect us, provide for us, & keep us at peace.
When you need to remember something important, many people skip post-it notes. They write it on their hand. Why? Because you may forget a piece of paper in your pocket or your purse, but your hand is always in front of you. God is so concerned about His children, that He has done the same.
TEXT: Isaiah 49:15-16.
(Show hands) When I want to remember something or someone important, I write it on my hands. And that’s what our Heavenly Father has done for us. He never forgets us; He never forsakes us; He never ignores our prayers & cries for help. All He has to do is look at His hand & He sees our name.
4. My daughter loves to look around. When she sees my face, she smiles & laughs. But if I walk out of her line-of-sight, she will start to cry. As long as my face is within sight, she will be content.
Because she is not used to being independent, she needs interaction & supervision. When we were young, we craved our father’s acceptance & praise. We wanted him to spend time with us & to know us. But as we grow, we assert more independence & begin looking for acceptance & praise from others. We may begin crave our father’s presence less & less, if we have let others take that role.
There are scores of stories about estranged young people that never reconcile with their parents. Whatever the fight was about, the two parties could not come to a mutual understanding & settle it.