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In John 16:33 Jesus warned us that “In this world you will have trouble.” For those of us who have lived much, we know just how true this is. As parents we hope that our children are spared the pain which we see all around us, and the pain which we ourselves have gone through. Yet, what can we do? We can hold them tight while we still have opportunity. We can never stop loving them. We can place our children in the arms of our Heavenly Father. For there is only One Father who can truly fulfill the promise that He “will never leave or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). There is only One Father whose love can never be separated from us; not by “death nor life, neither [by] angels nor demons, neither [by] the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither [by] height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation.” (Romans 8:38-39). There is only One Father who can literally calm a storm or still a raging sea. That Father is of course, The Lord God, who is right now in heaven reigning over the universe with infinite power, while at the same time, right next to us tenderly loving us! (Zephaniah 3:17 ) We may often wonder why God allows his children to go through the storms and trials of this life when He has the power to stop them. We may not know every answer to this question but I believe, God’s overarching reason for allowing us trouble is to motivate us to draw close to Him. Anyone who has had small children knows that a child is never more apt to run into their father’s arms than when they bump their knee or lightning flashes in the sky.

As we celebrate father’s day, I hope you spend some time with your Heavenly Father; thanking Him for his love; for his faithfulness to you; for everything he has given you (that would be everything you have!) The song “In My Arms “ by Plumb has helped me to reflect upon our Father God and I encourage you to listen to it this Father’s day. This song is sung from the perspective of a parent looking at her little child with blue eyes, curly hair, and contagious smile (a description which well describes my little daughter Faith). The song, though sung from the perspective of a human parent, has a deeper reflection upon how our Heavenly Father’s looks at us, His children. For the Lord alone knows everything that will happen to our children and to us, and in His arms alone are we ever truly safe. For only our heavenly Father can truly promise that we will never be alone, and that He will ALWAYS love us.

Before I finish I would like to mention the encouraging half of John 16:33, where Jesus promises that in Him “you may have peace.” Jesus warned that “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I (Jesus) have overcome the world.” And how is this?  Jesus overcame the root cause of all trouble in this world- that is sin (living life your way, ignoring God and his rules). Sin is what gets us into trouble and it is what separates us from God’s love.  But on the cross Jesus paid the full penalty for all of our sin. All we have to do to receive God’s forgiveness is to ask Him for forgiveness and to trust Jesus; he has done all the work to reconcile us with our Father God in heaven. For all who trust in Jesus will live with Him and God the Father forever in heaven. We will truly see the face of God and feel his physical arms around us in a loving embrace. We will finally have a home in a place which has no trouble. We will live there forever, in a loving relationship with our God which will never end!