Links Daily Devotional

Father Knows Best

Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! (Romans 11:33, NLT)

A question I often get asked by people who know my dad is a successful professional golfer is, “So, I assume your father was your teacher growing up?”

“Not really,” I answer.

“Why not?” they wonder.

I often add, “Did you want to listen to all the advice your father had to give you?”

Like many of us, I thought I knew more about what I was going through than my father did, though deep down I always knew better. It was really that I just wanted to either do things my way or get quicker results. Now I look back and very much wish that I would have submitted to trusting his wisdom and put my golf game into his hands, allowing him to shape my game with his superior knowledge.

It took me a long time to finally submit to my earthly father’s wisdom on the golf course; it has taken me even longer to learn to do so with my heavenly Father in the course of life and trust that he really has my long-term best in store. For years I battled internally with my attitude toward God when I did not get what I wanted or was asking from him. I’m sure now that I even fought against him to get what I wanted through my own doing. However, over time I have realized my struggles are often worse when I get what I think I want, because I have to then struggle to balance my limited knowledge with God’s divine and eternal plan.

I’m sure that I will always struggle with this at times, but right now I have to admit that I am learning to actually delight in full submission to God’s will over mine. The blessing in this paradigm shift is in the comfort of knowing that when we submit to a knowledgeable and sovereign God, we can know that we are in the will of an all-loving, omniscient Father who knows what is best for us better than we do, especially when we are not getting what we think we want. I actually think that is much greater confirmation of his love than if we always got what we thought we wanted.

I’ve learned this best through my experience of parenting my three-year-old son who never stops asking for sweets. If I’m to be a good father then I must actually say “no” more often than “yes,” because my knowledge of the outcome of him getting what he wants (tummy aches, cavities, etc.) is worse than the frustration of the fight with the child over it. Occasionally though, I give in and allow him some sweets just like I think God does with us. Unfortunately, we often don’t learn the lesson from the tummy aches, because they end soon, and the cavities, because the consequences show up way down the road, and we forgot what caused them in the first place. Ultimately, we suffer from even greater consequences. Analogous to life, we eventually just blame God for not fixing it properly and we repeat the cycle of asking for what we want and getting upset with him when we don’t get our way when the answer all along was that our Father always knew what was best. Sometimes he does give into our requests too. But let’s admit it: we are all going to be better off if we just submit to his will and his ways from the beginning.

I hope you all had a happy Father’s Day this past weekend, but may you view each day going forward as a “Happy to Submit-to-Your-Father” day. God bless!

Josh Nelson
June 24, 2015
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