“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father,*[footnote] [emphasis added by author] [/footnote] Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NIV).
This word brings memories. For some it means a strong and caring man. For some others it brings shame. For he might never have shown any manly qualities. More than that he might have verbally, emotionally and physically abused them through childhood. They might have endured this great suffering unable to protest or resist. For them the word “Father” brings unhappy memories.
These memories are very real and painful for them. And they cannot accept the reality of God as Father. No one finds fault with them. For the Father they saw on earth had given them scars that has burned into their hearts and minds. When they hear the word “Father” these memories are cut open afresh. The pain appears again. Memories rush out. Some cry. Others become angry. Hatred shows forth in their eyes. And many think that they are worthless because of suffering such torment.
And there are others who have been unfortunately deprived of their fathers early in life. Or for that matter there are many who might never have enjoyed the presence of their father as much as they wished.
What does God say to such? Can He stop being “Father”? No. For that is His essential nature. He cares for us as a Father. He cannot stop being Himself.
Though He cannot change He will give grace to those with tormenting memories to accept Him as their “Everlasting Father!” The Bible describes this God as “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling” (Psalm 68:5a NIV). Therfore He won’t leave those with unhappy memories of their fathers as orphans.* [footnote] [ “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18 NIV).] [/footnote] He will be a Father to them.
This is the message of Christmas. Jesus came so that you can know the care of a loving Father. He shall be your Father for ever. And on earth everytime you pray “Our Father in heaven,” He will look down with love. May God give you the knowledge of His Father-heart this Christmas. And may God restore to you all the care of your father that you missed in your early days. May this restoration be real and full of tears of joy!1
He is your Everlasting Father!
1 “Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son [daughter] of mine was dead and is alive again; he [she] was lost and is found” (Luke 15:23b, 24a NIV).