by Daniel Durkee
"Congratulations! It’s a boy!” I can still remember as the doctor blurted out those words that forever changed my life. God has blessed Michelle and me with three wonderful sons; however, I have learned that being a successful father means a whole lot more than simply producing children.
I grew up in an unchristian home where a godly example of fatherhood was not handed down to me. However, I had determined long before marriage that I would raise my children to the best of my ability. I would read many practical books on fathering. I would watch other fathers, good or bad, to see what I could learn from them. I would often ask a lot of questions to fathers about how they handled certain situations and circumstances. I would seek God for wisdom and guidance and spend much time considering what His Word had to say about fathers.
As I think of the passage where Isaiah said that "his name shall be called the everlasting Father," I’m reminded that in order for Him to be my Father I must be His child. If I am His child, that affords me the benefits of Him being called The everlasting Father. Jesus came to earth to establish an eternal, permanent relationship with us. I have learned that being a father means several things.
For Him to be my Father, I must be His child. If I am His child, that affords me the benefits of Him being called The everlasting Father.
A father is someone whose presence is there. I remember after my first son, Darren, was born that I didn’t even want to go back to work. I wanted to hold him, talk to him and be there with him every moment of every day. I didn’t want to miss anything. When I did go back to work, I couldn’t wait to get home. He was my son and I didn’t want him to know a day when his father wasn’t there. My father and mother divorced when I was young boy and I grew up without my real father. It wasn’t until I was thirty-five years old that I had the privilege of my father’s presence for two weeks in my life. There’s nothing like the presence of your father when you are in this life.
Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” As our everlasting Father, His presence brings a reassuring calm, a resting comfort, and a ready counsel. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. The everlasting Father means His presence will always be with us.
A father is also a protector. One of the things I felt after our sons were born was this awesome responsibility of protecting them. I knew that I could not protect them properly if I wasn’t around and so, we made it a practice that whatever we did, we did as a family.
However, on one occasion I was asked to speak for a Leadership Conference in Florida and we felt it best to leave the boys at their Grandparents home for this quick three day trip. After arriving in Florida we quickly learned that Dereck, our two year old son, had fallen from a horse with wheels that was placed on top of a wagon. A metal wheel barrel handle had punctured his face. In that moment with miles between us, God showed me that even though I couldn’t be there to fully protect him, He could. In that difficult hour, God was there for our two year old boy, protecting him and bringing him through surgery successfully. What a relief to know that The everlasting Father is there to bring protection from those things that would harm us.
As our everlasting Father, His presence brings a reassuring calm, a resting comfort, and a ready counsel.
Finally, a father is a provider. Because Darren, Dustin and Dereck have my last name, I have the responsibility and rejoice to provide for each of their needs. As Christians, we bare the name of Jesus, and therefore He has the responsibility and rejoices to provide for those in need who have His name. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” That is exactly what Jesus does for His children. He is an everlasting Father who provides for His own.
This Christmas season when you think of Jesus, remember Him as The everlasting Father whose presence is always with us to protect and provide. The key is taking on His name and when you do, He becomes The everlasting Father!