I’m not much of a photographer but I recently went on a hunting trip that required me to use a scope. I saw blades of grass and bark on trees 100 yards away. What an advantage to see the hunted before it sees you. But I also needed to have a solid idea of the bigger picture. I took my eye away from the scope every now and then to get a mental picture of the scene beyond the few square feet that the scope showed me. Seeing the big picture and a second later zooming in allowed me to have a successful trip.
Being a dad requires the ability to zoom in and zoom out. Just recently my one year old started throwing spoons and food off his tray. There have been times when I’ve zoomed in on the moment, paused whatever conversation I was having, and let him know that I see him and it’s not okay. But parenting isn’t always a look down the scope. When I open up the Bible every day with my four year old I hope to instill a lifelong desire to crack God’s Word.
There have been plenty of times when I’m reminded that parenting is an art, not a science. I’ve made mistakes, squeezed the trigger in the heat of a moment instead of seeing the big picture, and allowed prized opportunities for life lessons to just walk by. What amazes me most is that God doesn’t make those same mistakes.
Take a look with me at how our almighty Father describes his laser vision on our lives.
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely. Psalm 139:1-4.
God sees right through you. He sees through me. Wouldn’t that be a useful ability as a dad? There are times I wonder what in the world is going on in my kids’ heads. When I grab my son’s hand after he chucks his spoon, I’d love to know how he’s reacting to my attempt at discipline. But God has reserved that soul scope ability for himself and it’s a good thing. Unlike me he perfectly balances his approach with the big picture.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14.
How often don’t I forget that I’m dealing with a child and expect understanding that’s beyond their brain size at the moment? I lose sight of the big picture, but God never does. One of the reasons God shows compassion on me is because he knows that I’m dust. He remembers how small I am and how limited my life is without his love. So he pours out his love on me. In his Word my Father doesn’t just bury me with reminders of what I look like under the crosshairs of his judgment. Instead he became dust too. He walked into the trap of my sin so that he could include me in the eternal picture of life with him.
I take great comfort as a dad knowing that my kids have the same dad I do. Their Father knows their flaws better than I do and takes aim at them with his compassion. He zooms in and zooms out on them with perfect skill and accuracy. How better could I serve and love my kids than to expose them to the gaze of their Father as much as possible?
"Hi, I'm Frank. I am a Pastor intern this year in College Station, TX. I study at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary to become a Pastor. Digging into God's Word isn't just a job it's a joy. I love finding new ways to see his Words in a fresh light. I am married to Holy Hen House writer Amanda and am a father to two bright and blue eyed kids."
For More Reflections by Dads -
On Time. Am I doing enough with my time as a father? by Will