FAMILY FUSION: A caring concerned father
“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.” – Corrie Ten Boom
THERE ARE STILL many caring, concerned fathers functioning efficiently in our world today.
I continue to see them daily. Many of them have risen admirably to their responsibility, and must be commended for their sterling contribution to their children’s welfare and our society on a whole.
It is also common knowledge that there are fathers whose negative behaviour toward their children is far from complimentary. Even the best of us earthly fathers have our human limitations, especially when our children are going through situations that overwhelm them.
As a father I have had to face such situations with my own children, and I know of many fathers who speak of similar challenges.
Today, however, I want to make mention of a caring, concerned father I met years ago.
Many years ago I thought that birds, especially sparrows, were nuisances. Every day these sparrows would turn up at my kitchen window as though a daily invitation had been issued to them for breakfast and make plenty of noise long before I could shake myself out of bed.
They were always on time, with no cash in hand, or should I say, in beak. Talking about toilet training, they could do with a lot of work in that department.
Then one day God, our caring and concerned Father, opened my selfish eyes to two verses of scripture found in St Matthew 6:26-27: Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
I was blown away. The thought that the sparrows do not earn money weekly or monthly, but are adequately taken care of by the Creator on a daily basis, was a major defining moment for me. God also drew to my attention to the fact that these little winged creatures were some of the healthiest looking in all His creation, and none of them dies without His knowledge (Matthew 10:29). God looks after these little animals with such care and consideration, why then should we worry and wonder if our needs will be met?
Worrying on a continual basis can make anyone seriously sick. In fact, much of today’s health problems are said to stem from worry. Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counsellors and other health care professionals spend a very high percentage of their time and energy treating individuals who are chronic worriers.
Often these professionals are not appreciated for the great work they continue to do in helping many get back on their feet emotionally.
I want to take this opportunity to highly compliment them for their investment in the lives of so many persons.
According to Harvard University award-winning scholar, Professor of theology and human development, James W. Fowler, the Greek word for worry carries the meaning of a person who has a “divided mind”. It suggests that the mind is not thinking straight. The Latin word for worry “wyrgan” (ree-gan) means to strangle or to choke. It advocates, therefore, that worry is a condition that has the ability to take hold of individuals in an emotional, psychological, mental, social and spiritual vice grip and impede their ability to function at their optimum.
Moments of worry
Everybody at some time in life will have moments of worry which often has its origin in fear. People worry about their past, present and future.
They worry about life and about death; they worry when they are working and when they are not working; they worry when they are single and they worry when they are married; they worry when they are rich and when they are poor; they worry about things that are happening around them and things that may never happen. Some people, when asked what they are worrying about, would tell you they don’t even know.
There was a vital lesson I learned from what my Heavenly Father said in the Bible. If He could take such excellent care of the birds that fly, I felt very special that I don’t have to put myself in a state of worry when it comes to the fundamental things of life. Like a caring, concerned earthly father who chooses not to spoil us by thoughtlessly giving us things while we laze around doing nothing, our Heavenly Father in His kind thoughtfulness acts in the same way.
There are times when you are not able to have your social, mental, emotional, physical, spiritual or other needs met. Worry seems to take advantage of such times and may begin to creep into your emotional space.
As a caring, concerned Heavenly Father, whose practical love for you is far greater than for the birds for which He provides consistently, He has promised to meet such needs during those critical times.
Sometime ago a very good friend told me that throughout his working life, he had never had any major financial problems, but had recently lost his only means of income. He was distraught. As the only breadwinner in his family, with his wife and young children, he began to worry. Sleep began to leave him, and periodically he would slip into states of depression.
One day he said that the scripture passages about our Heavenly Father taking care of the sparrows registered in his mind and it suddenly brought new light to his way of thinking. This Christian man said he began to prayerfully and thoughtfully hold firmly to God’s promise.
He later told me that he worried less and less as he saw God providing for him month after month from sources that were never in his thoughts. He is now self-employed and said his caring, concerned Heavenly Father is giving him wisdom and knowledge to generate income.
The temptation to worry is never too far away from you, but there is a caring, concerned Heavenly Father whose love can conquer every time worry attacks.
• Reverend Haynesley Griffith is a marriage and family life consultant. Email [email protected]