Key Verse: “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.” Matthew 6:9
Derek Redmond, an athlete from Britain, took part in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and was tipped for a gold medal. Whilst running the 400m he tore a hamstring and fell to the ground, anguished in body and spirit. Medical personnel came to him immediately but he shooed them away, determined to get up and cross the finish line. Derek’s father Jim came out of the vast crowd and walked over to his son, picked him up and told him ‘We’ll finish it together’. Derek leaned on his father’s shoulder and limped down the track and crossed the finish line. The crowd roared and applauded the athlete and his father, and it became one of the most memorable moments of the Olympics that year.
Just like Derek’s caring father, we too have a Father in heaven who is full of love and compassion for his children at every stage of their lives. He is there to pick us up when we fall, guide us when we don’t know which path to take and if needed carry us all the way to our final destination through his endless grace, power, and mercy. In the first chapter of the book of Joshua, God encourages the new leader after Moses’ death saying, ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.’
Earthly fathers can be a real mixed bag sometimes; some are always there for their children, some are compassionate, some are hard-working, but there are some who are quite the opposite. Fathers can change over time but we have an eternal Father that loves us more than we can imagine and delights to call us his children. Psalm 103 reassures us that ‘as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him’. Turn to your Father today and fall into his loving arms whenever the storms of life seem too much for you to bear and he will help you cross the finish line safely.