Grandparents, especially boomers, tend to look younger than in earlier generations, and some become grandparents in their forties.
When I see three generations of a family together, it's easy to see who the parents are. Aside from their appearance, parents and grandparents interact with the children in very different ways.
Parents and grandparents
Parents wear the day-to-day responsibility on their faces, and have the countenance of marathon runners mid-way in a race. Grandparents now enjoy the race as spectators. But, they are experienced spectators.
As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. Psalms 103:13 (NKJV)
Imagine God the Father as a grandparent. As a pastor, I've known many people who find it hard to relate to God as a father, because of their relationship with their own earthly father.
But God has lots of experience as a father—for hundreds of generations. He's the Almighty Father—full of compassion with a mercy that endures forever (Ps 136).
[bctt tweet="God has lots of experience as a father—for hundreds of generations" username="tkbeyond"]
Affection and compassion
I'm a father of four and a grandfather of five (so far!). Although I liked playing with my children a lot when they were young, it's now become a primary role for me. I love it, just like so many other grandfathers!
I'm sure you've seen grandparents fawn over their grandchildren, acting as if they're the only children on the face of the earth.
It's because the affection and compassion that fills our hearts outweighs our responsibility for them. I've seen fathers who were strict authoritarians melt into sugary cupcakes as grandpas.
In this text, the NKJV uses the word pity, but it also translates as compassion or mercy. This is the heart of God (Luke 6:36), whose mercies are new every morning (Lam 3:22-23).
[bctt tweet="God's heart is filled with mercy and compassion, which are new every morning" username="tkbeyond"]
The fear of God and compassion
Even though God's mercy is an overflowing reservoir of compassion, it is reserved most for those who recognize Him for who He is— God.
The fear of God is not a cowering, anxious dread, but a respectful sense of awe and wonder.
God, the Creator and Sustainer of life for all, bends down with a compassionate heart to embrace us, His children. He extends this love to whoever will receive it and Him (John 3:16-18).
He calls us into a very personal relationship. It's an affectionate embrace for those who see Him as He is—God Almighty and full of mercy.
Not every one has a living, loving father on earth, but everyone can have and know the Father of all fathers. His love knows no boundaries and His heart is an ever flowing stream of compassion.
[bctt tweet="God's love knows no boundaries and His heart is an ever flowing stream of compassion" username="tkbeyond"]
Some questions and an encouragement—
What is or was your relationship like with your natural father?
How does your relationship with God reflect this?
If you have difficulty relating to God as Father, have you expressed this to Him?
If not, what would you say and how do you want it to be different?
Who has been a good fatherly influence in your life or the life of those you love?
Let them know this today.
This was originally published on the Daily Devo blog of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. Here's the original post– Heart of Compassion