I’m sure you have all received them if you have been a parent for any length of time. When they are just old enough to go to Sunday School or even in daycare, one of the first things your little one makes for you is their hand print. Many of you have a picture of that in your head right now and could go to a box or a plastic storage tub and pull out Johnny or Susie’s classic piece of art.
They graduated over the years to nicer items such as clay ash trays, wooden tie and belt holders, maybe a pencil holder or a shelf. Homemade gifts from your children, it truly doesn’t get any better than that!
I remember, in particular, one of My Three Sons brought home his first attempt at wood crafts. (For this post, the crafter shall remain nameless. We will let them decide if they want to take ownership or not.) The fact that he was even taking a class of this sort must have been a requirement; he was not one to sit around thinking of things he could make with his hands.
Whether this was a Father’s Day gift or not I do not recall but I do remember him bringing it home and having that dejected look of “This is the best I can do”, when in reality it was sturdy, heavy and not too crooked at all! It had been stained super dark and he had made it with his own hands.
Now, to wrap it for Father’s Day.
The Sweetheart has received tons of gifts over the last 38 years of marriage and 36 of being a father. Some he still has, like the toolbox, others didn’t make it into a storage tub for one of our many moves. He learned from the time they were old enough to stand there with their arms outstretched, presenting their gift, that it was the biggest deal in the world to them and he had better act like it was to him, too.
And it was.
That toolbox was filled immediately and to this day it still has hammers, screwdrivers, nails and other important go-to’s for any household. It served a purpose then and even now, years later.
This Father’s Day, it is a sturdy and strong reminder of us bringing our gifts to our Good, Good Father, Jesus Christ.
Sometimes our gift giving, our prayer time, turns into our give me time. Did you know that the Hebrew word for prayer, tefillah, means to self-evaulate? To the Jewish people, prayer was not a time to just ask God for things, they truly examined themselves! This meant admitting their actions, behaviors and attitudes and comparing them with their holy God. Standing in His presence will cause you to look at your heart!
To us, as 21st century Christians, the word pray means to ask or maybe even plead. We lay out a list of things we need or want God to do and then start begging Him to reply. But what if we evaluated our hearts first? What if we checked our motives first? What if we prayed, “Not my will but thine be done” and just offered our toolbox, our lives, as a living sacrifice?
Do you bring Him praise, adoration, worship and glory with your prayers or are they all filled with “I need, I want and please hurry!” He hears you regardless of how you pray, or what you say, but He is most pleased when it is a sacrificial giving of the heart. When you understand that all things are in His control anyway and that surrender is the ultimate act of worship, you then acknowledge that He alone is able and He alone is worthy and your giving takes on an entirely different meaning…and approach.
Imagine yourself bringing your tool box to your heavenly Father. It’s a part of you, a difficult part, but you want to give it back to Him as a gift of surrender and humility. It’s sort of like this, “Lord, this is just for You, I’m giving you all of my difficult attitudes, all of my heartaches, confusion, misunderstandings. Could you help me with these things and fill up that toolbox with more of You so that I might take those tools and be a representative of You to a lost, dying and hurting world?”
He will do that. He will take the broken and make it whole, pliable and workable in the Kingdom. Giving gifts to your good, good Father, yielding in total surrender and then taking what He gives you as tools to help others…that completes that perfect circle. He’s good like that.
This Father’s Day, don’t forget to tell that influential man in your life what he means to you. Love on those that you value so much and don’t forget to reach out to others who might not hear the words, “I appreciate you.”
Happy Father’s Day to The Sweetheart, such a rock to me for over 40 years. I love you and thank you for being such a good, good father to My Three Sons, for loving our daughters-in-law and adoring our precious grandbabies and spoiling ME and providing for us all so well. Even though we are thousands of miles away from home this Father’s Day, I pray you are blessed beyond measure!
I ordered this t-shirt for The Sweetheart, a.k.a, Dad, a.k.a., Poppy, before I left home, knowing I would be overseas on Father’s Day but not wanting to forget it either. (I did forget my card, unfortunately. But hey, I have a lot to remember!)
Happy Father’s Day!!