The Patient Father

Amongst a green luscious meadow a single bleeding heart sprouts on the first day of spring. It sways left to right from the breeze of a girl running through the meadow. She is barely seven barefoot with wavy brown hair. She represents freedom in countless ways. As she turns back and smiles at her father, her brown hair swishes to her right shoulder. She gives a laugh and says go faster Daddy. The patient Father just cracks a smile for he knows what is ahead. He asks his daughter once to return to Him. She looks back at him and says “this way Daddy, let’s go here. “ She desperately seeks adventure. She is looking for something to strive for perhaps a waterfall or breathtaking mountain view to end their journey. The little girl points to the redwood forest ahead. “Look daddy, look over here. The trees are so tall and strong, I am sure this is the way to go” The patient Father whispers “Not yet, Come to me” Then the little girl points to the glaciers on her left. “Daddy, let’s go here the ice is so beautiful and you know how much I love the snow.” She continues to plead with her father, “We could go sledding and have a snow ball fight and make snow angels. Oh daddy we could have so much fun. You know how much I love to eat the snow; the feeling of the cold ice on my lips makes me feel so alive and refreshed. Oh daddy please, we could have so much fun together over here.” The Father just laughs for he knows what is over by the glaciers: polar bears, slippery ice, and avalanches, things that she is unprepared for as a naïve little girl. The patient Father once again whispers “ No, not there. Come back to me. I know the way.” The girl stops running and turns to her father. Her pouty face says it all, she trusts the Father but does not like what he has to say. She slowly walks to the Father. When she is three steps away, the Father bends down to her level, “ I have something stored up for you that will give you the desires of your adventure seeking heart; you just have to be patient and wait.” The little girl nods her head and takes her Fathers hand. She is happy again and content just holding her Father’s hand. She doesn’t need to take the lead and run ahead for she is enjoying every minute in the presence of her Father. All of a sudden she looks to her right and sees a vast desert. She sees a wind storm pick up the sand and move it a mile away. The sand reminds her of the beach. She starts to run towards the desert. Oh how she loves the feeling of sand between her toes and when her father splashes her with the salty water. Oh and how could she forget the sand castles that she used to build with her mother. She would build a mote to protect all the princes and princesses. She turns to her Father who is quite a distance away and starts to say “ Look daddy, Let’s Go….” She turns back to the desert and rubs her eyes. She realizes that it is not a beach, but rather a vast barren desert. “Oh wait no, Nevermind” The patient, caring Father smiles for he knows that she is learning, regardless of how long it is taking. She runs into the open arms of her Father. The Father kisses her left cheek and then whispers, “ I am so proud. You are learning” The girl smiles. Oh how she longs to please her daddy and she knows by the look on his face that she did something to make him proud. As she is walking on her Father’s side, she points to a mountain, “Daddy, are we going to hike this hill.” “No, sweetie, not yet” From afar, his smile says it all. He knows that one day his daughter will be ready to climb that mountain. It will take more time and discipline, but he is excited for the day that she will finally be ready and even more excited for the day she will summit it. As he ponders looking at that mountain, the little girl tugs on her Father’s robe. “Daddy,” she points to a small hill “how about this hill?” The Father answers “Sure, let’s go there!”

As I sat in my seat at our weekly Intervarsity gathering, I sat in silence inviting the Lord to speak to me. He revealed to me this image.

Lord, I pray that you would give me the fruits of the spirits, especially patience. Sometime I run to the first adventure or risk I see but I ask that I would just find peace basking in Your presence. May this picture be true in my daily life. May I be walking by your side and learning from You daily. I have so much more to learn but please teach me Your ways. Amen.


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