Where are the true fathers?
We just don't believe it. That's my conclusion. Despite the revelation of Christ and personal experience of the indwelling Spirit of God, our fatherless-ness to whatever degree, still holds us in disbelief that God really wants to father us. Life experience has cemented the belief that we are still orphaned, still alone, and that it's still all up to us irrespective of the goodness of God we have tasted in our new life.
As I walked as a new Christian and was beginning to be churched (not discipled), I saw little else to change that view. Still alone, still up to me. There were not many fathers at Church. There were plenty of embattled and empty men. No one to guide me (well wasn't that what the bible was for?). The true fathers that I did encounter were often found on the prayer team at gatherings and camps, and the time spent with them was all too brief, brief encounters borne of crises and surrender in the context of an altar call. Thank God for them though. Rescuers all, and glimpses of the Father's love often through long embraces.
We have all been there, we leave that place of sanctuary and desperately try and hold onto the blessing whilst believing we are going to blow it again. We have been told that we leak and that we have to 'walk it out'. (It's up to us again!)
I don't believe we leak at all! We instead believe that the Father's love is only temporary, it passes quickly. Probably learned from our own fathers. We don't leak, we yield it to our enemy because we don't have a category for an 'everlasting father'. Yes, an EVERLASTING FATHER! A steadfast, always there, never leave you or forsake you, father! To be honest you read this and doesn't it sound to your heart totally unbelievable?
At conferences, and there have been many over the years, where I was seeking God and His presence - I came as a beggar, not a son. As someone desperate for scraps, for clues - anything that would bring me nearer to God. Notebook, pen, and bible in hand. (in more recent times add-in an insulated coffee cup). Jot it down or lose it! Miss it! Blow it! "Fix what is wrong with me God before it's too late!" Too often we want the fix quick, deep, and on our terms. Fathering takes time it's not to be read in a book. It is borne out of relationship and experience and your heart deserves more than a quick fix.
You spend a whole year getting knots in your rope, and you think two weeks out here will untie them for you! None of you get it! (Curly, City Slickers)
What I believed, even in my Christian life, was that the seeking was all one-way. No clue at all that God was asking me to be still and 'know' His love. To all intent and purposes, it was self-help, self-effort, trying to get to a point of acceptance, of being worthy of His presence and all this in spite of sound theology - because my heart didn't understand theology! Theology is not the language of the heart.
What was missing? Well, that foundation wasn't established in me by my own father. Is that a cause for blame? No, but its effects are real none-the-less. Because of the fall and a succession of the fatherless begetting the fatherless, we who have been blind have led the blind.
When you have a marred image of the father, you still need fathers' with skin on' to help you get there. Authentic men and fathers were missing in my walk. Fathers who had time to point me in the right direction, to testify of the Good Father. Fathers who were being fathered by God and those whose hearts were turned towards the fatherless. The long-established foundation for the revelation of Christ. The foundation of the Kingdom of God. The foundation for a Godly Nation.
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the sons, and the heart of the sons to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with utter destruction. [Malachi 4:6]
Where are the true fathers now, the fathers who have walked the walk, the scarred overcomers whose hearts are turned towards us? Where are the straight talkers? The initiators and the life-givers?
Well, they are very few and become fewer as the generations pass. But in their absence and in their scarceness, I believe God is very deliberately stepping into that void to establish a new generation of fathers. He is raising them from the fatherless. He is raising broken men. He is raising Lions from Lambs. He is guiding us in paths of righteousness for the sake of His name.
He is raising you perhaps?