“Father and Son”

An old faded letter was discovered while a family was cleaning out a closet. It was a letter of hope and blessing from a father to his infant son.

Dear son,
You can’t read this letter yet, but when you learn to read, I’ll give it to you. Every time I look at you a feeling of love and responsibility overwhelms me. I ask myself how can I train you so that you’ll become a good man. Most importantly that you’ll become a strong Christian. It won’t be easy to abide by the teaching of Jesus Christ, I have not always done it well. It hurts me to know that you’ll have to see the suffering, cruelty and hypocrisy that exist in the world, but I’m happy that we can see the beauty of it together. How fun it will be to travel, play sports, visit parks, mountains and see movies together. I’d like to shelter you from the unpleasant experiences you’ll have to confront. But that would be impossible and even cruel, because one day you’ll have to fight alone against the hard and unjust forces of life. Only with experience and the help of the Holy Spirit can you find the weapons to defend yourself against those attacks. My son, I hope that you’ll live long enough to hear the sweetest words a dad can hear—I love you dad. Then all the sacrifices and hard work and pain will have been worth it. — Your dad!

Wouldn’t it be great to know the sequel to this story? Well, after many years of ups and downs, the son surpassed the most optimistic hopes and dreams of that father. He became a solid Christian beloved by many for his servant attitude and behavior. He has always been there for those who were hurting and sacrificed much to help not only his fellow Christians, but also strangers. Isn’t this true story familiar in the spiritual realm? God the Father felt a great love for his son, Jesus. At various times the Father spoke from heaven saying, “This is my Son whom I love, with him I am well pleased.” (Mt 3:17) (Mt 17:5) He knew full well the suffering and rejection he would have to endure on this planet. He even knew he would one day have to turn his back while Jesus suffered on the cross. But one can only imagine the joy in heaven when Jesus persevered and conquered sin and death and established his church before sitting down at the right hand of the Father. (Rev 3:21) The Father also feels the great love for those who obey and trust in Him. Even when they disobey and reject Him, He will run to meet them if they repent and return to Him. (Lk 15: 24)
—Jim Bailey