Missing a Parent
My dad's gone a lot, traveling for work, and I know he has to go, but I miss him. Any thoughts to help?
One bible passage immediately comes to mind:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God…. (Rom 8:38-39 NIV)
Nothing can separate you from love -- and that includes the love that you feel with and from your dad. Sometimes it's easier to say than to feel. But the truth remains: no matter where you are or where your dad is, love is right there with you both, helping you both feel God's love.
Being separated from your dad for periods of time is giving you the opportunity to gain a stronger view of parenting -- to rely more on God for your needs and less on a person. Remember when Jesus was 12, and his parents were looking for him? They found him in the temple. Jesus' response to their worry was, "Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" (Luke 2:49 NKJV). Jesus knew his true Parent was God.
We all can know this. God is always there for us. When we look to God for the type of love and help that we want or expect or yearn for from our parents, we will always find what we need. God parents our parents and teaches them how to parent us. When people came to Jesus to tell him that his family was waiting, his reply expanded the concept of family. Instead of saying that family was all about blood and genes, he defined family as those who "do the will of God" (Mark 3:35 KJV). How cool to have a wider concept of family.
As a result of understanding that God is parenting you and your parents, you'll become even more grateful for your human parents because you'll feel God's love behind their loving words and actions.
You might find yourself focusing on how much you love your dad, rather than on how much you miss him. You know, he probably misses you as much as you miss him, maybe even more. So you might find little things to do for him to help him. Perhaps write a note and hide it away in his suitcase before he goes; email him a picture of you or of the two of you; Skype with him. Be creative. You could even do something for him at home while he's gone. If you move the focus off how much you miss him to how much you love him, you'll find that your heart will be more full of love even though he's away. The time that you share together will be even more meaningful.
You'll come to understand that verse from Romans – that nothing can separate you from Love. The psalmist knew this truth, too, when he wrote:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast. (Ps 139:7-10 NIV)
There's nowhere we can go that God isn't there with us. So there's no place that you or your dad can be where God isn't, where Love isn't. Since you're both in Love's arms, you're actually both together. You may not be physically side-by-side, but you know what it feels like to feel warmth and love simply by thinking about wonderful things. That's the same concept. Love knows no barriers. It crosses all space. Poets over the millenniums have spoken this truth. Now, you get to prove it.
As you trust God to fulfill your needs, as you turn to God as your Parent, as you love your dad and cherish the time you do spend with him, your concept of fathering will deepen and strengthen, and you'll feel less separation and more unity. And you'll be one incredibly strong and loving individual.