THAT'S WHAT A FATHER IS FOR
by David Sisler
Martin Priest, the star of The Plot Against Harry, counts his father, a pattern maker in the garment industry, as one of his blessings. Priest says that when he'd ask his father for $10, he'd give him $5. One time he asked his dad for $500. The next morning the money was on his bureau.
"Pop," Martin Priest said, "I don't get it. I ask you for $10 and you only give me $5. I ask for $500 and i'ts there the next morning. Why?"
His father replied, "Listen, if you need $10 or 5, that's for nonsense. If you need $500, you must be in trouble, and that's what a father is for."
The ad appeared in an Atlanta newspaper. It was placed by a woman, a 36-year-old widow. Her husband had died and she was trying to support herself and her children on social security. It was not enough, so she placed the ad:
"Desperately need money. Clear up debts. Leave the rest to my children. Beautiful blue eyes. Excellent condition. All bids over $100,000 welcome. Buyer pays medical expenses. Serious inquiries only."
A doctor in family practice tabulated the things that were troubling his patients:
Forty percent of the worries which were told to him never materialized.
Thirty percent were related to wishes for other people, simply because they couldn't trust those people to God.
Twelve percent of the worries were related to the physical difficulties which had been caused and intensified by worry.
Ten percent of the things worried about happened in normal everyday life and were impossible to control no matter what one did.
And the last eight percent were valid problems that needed the attention of his medical skill.
"Look at the birds in the air," Jesus said. "They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns. But your heavenly father feeds the birds. And you know that you are worth much more than birds."
Fix your eyes on the birds. Take a good look at the birds. How do birds get their food? Unless they are nestlings or household pets they feed themselves! Some are seed eaters, others carrion eaters or fish eaters, others eat insects, still others are scavengers.
Their heavenly Father feeds them all right. But he does it not by stretching out his hand filled with food, but by providing in nature all they need to feed themselves.
What happens to those birds Jesus said to observe closely? They eat. They fly. They build nests. They have offspring. They die. Die? That's right, but, Jesus said, "Not even one of the little birds can die without your Father's knowing it."
That promise brings an attitude of confidence. One of the best examples of that confidence was exhibited by three young Jews who were about to be tortured for their faith. The king, into whose service they had been sold, told them, "Worship my golden idol and you will live. Continue to worship your God and you will die." Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego replied, "Our God is able to deliver us, but even if he doesn't, we won't stop serving him!"
The difference between those who are comfortable with God's care and those who are uncomfortable with their own provision is found in their attitude towards the God Jesus called "Father."
Jesus advised, "Don't worry and say, ‘What will we eat?' or ‘What shall we drink?' or ‘What will we wear?' All the people who don't know God keep trying to get these things. And your Father in heaven knows that you need them. The thing you should want most is God's kingdom and doing what God wants. Then all these other things will be given to you."
Like Martin Priest's dad said, "That's what a father is for." Especially when God is your Father!
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Copyright 2001 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.
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