Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lawnmower Lesson

It was a morning in early spring, a time when new grass was growing thick on lawns all over the neighborhood, begging to be mowed. The dad on the riding lawn mower was making his first pass across the burgeoning green expanse, and following ten feet behind him walked his little boy, pushing a toy lawnmower in his wake. It was the cutest father/son moment I'd seen in a while, and I wished I could stop the car I was driving and simply watch the two of them work together to bring beauty to the overgrown mess. But with my job calling my name, I simply tucked the picture away in my heart and pulled it out repeatedly during the rest of the day when I needed a smile.

Kids are ever imitating the actions of their fathers. They look to their dads to learn how to function in life successfully - how to act, what to say, how to treat others, what to do with their lives. Dads are continually teaching their kids, even unconsciously, simply because their children are always watching them and then imitating what they see acted out before them.

God tells us repeatedly in His Word to live like little children, and Jesus modeled this behavior; He was constantly watching His Dad. He told His disciples that He did only what He saw His Father doing. And to live successfully in this world we simply need to do the same.

Many among us have earthly fathers who are absent or poor role models. Although God promises to be Himself a father to the fatherless, the question persists: how do you imitate a dad that you can't see or touch or hug? God's answer to them is the same as Jesus' answer to His similarly confused disciples in John 14, that if you have seen and know Jesus, then you have seen and know His Father, because God was alive inside of Him. Jesus' words were His Father's words; the miracles He performed were His Father's actions manifested through Jesus' flesh. Everything He did was a reflection of His Dad. His words and His actions are laid out in the Bible for us to see.

So what do we see the Father doing through the actions of His Son? The Bible says that Jesus went about doing good. He comforted those who mourned and brought new life into dead situations or all kinds...cold bodies, hopeless hearts, lifeless spirits. He didn't judge or condemn, rather He offered a different way of living to those who were in bondage of one type or another; He set people free from physical chains of sickness and disease and loosened the bonds of wrong thinking and unbelief. He served the people around Him, He loved with a pure heart, He laughed with His friends.

Be inspired by the example of the little lawn-mowing boy above and deliberately follow in your Father's footsteps. If you've had a great earthly dad, be quick to give thanks. If instead you had one you had to run from, don't make the mistake of transferring your earthly father's failings on an infallible god. Instead let God be to you all that your birth father was not. Let Him erase the mistakes, wipe away the tears and replace the lost years with an unimaginable future together. If you truly seek His Face, you will see that He is ever leading the way and smiling back at you today.

Jesus gave them this answer: 'Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.'”
(John 5:19 NIV)

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