There are three overarching metaphors in God’s Word to picture the love God has for us: He loves each of us the way a Gardener loves his garden, a Shepherd loves his sheep and a Father loves his children.
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. John 15:1
Each of these are full of tending-and-keeping, working-and-taking-care-of devotion and attention, explaining that the love God has for us is committed over time to nurture our growth.
H A P P Y F A T H E R ’ S D A Y
to my Dad, who watched over me, led me, guided me, provided for me, both in his words and actions; and to my husband, whom I watch every day as he leads, guides and works so diligently to provide for our children and shape their lives.
Sometimes, as a gardener knows, part of that work involves pruning – a drastic cutting back so that the plant will grow with better form and production. Sadly, I didn’t respect the pruning hand of my dad, nor my husband today, as much as I do of a gardener’s! I am sorry for the protest and rebellion in me that sprouts faster than weed seeds, so often hurt and haughty about a strongly advised change I need to make. All I can do is pray, O Lord, that when such discipline comes to me, I will think of it in a garden context. He intends to yield a better result, just as I prune my roses so they will bloom again more brilliantly.
because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. Proverbs 3:11-13
Lord, thank you that these men have cared enough to cut me back when needed, and help me appreciate the love that they are showing….not a softy, comforting love, but a deep love and commitment to see me grow and become all I can be, just like I hope for my garden!
Photo Caption: This has become a favorite picture of me and my Dad. I love the image of his hand holding mine, tenderly leading and guiding.