Growing up I could hardly wait for Saturday afternoons to catch a classic black & white movie. The most memorable ones often starred the famous child actress Shirley Temple. (I now own a full DVD collection so I no longer have to rely on American Movie Classics.) Storylines often cast her as an orphan or being raised by a  single mom, a theme I related to myself having lost my own father at a young age.

Unfortunately, belting out “On the Good Ship Lollipop” and dancing around didn’t guarantee anyone a happy ending.

Fatherless families are a sad reality in our society and the staggering statistics that accompany them are even sadder. This is why Jesus introducing us to God as ABBA Father is so critical.  The literal Aramaic translation for ABBA is “Daddy”. In a world full of absent fathers, the knowledge that God our ABBA Father is as accessible as crying out in prayer can be just the healing balm we need.

Actually, having a father or father figure here on earth doesn’t make you exempt from some of the same hurts or issues the ones without face. And our ABBA Father cares for each and every one of us the same.

Did you catch that? HE cares! That’s huge. That is the piece in our heart that we sometimes feel will never be filled. It is easy to get caught up in the lie that no one truly cares. That’s exactly what it is, a lie.

I remember when it first hit me- it was Father’s Day many years ago. The focus in church was on our heavenly Father in a way I had never heard it before. That was the day I realized I wasn’t missing out on something, I was gaining something better.

God can not take the place of your earthly father, but an earthly father can never take the place of ABBA Father in your life. He is tender and compassionate and always waiting for us with open arms.

The best part is you are never to old to run to Him!