A Missing Person- Pastor Ken Damstrom
Just the other day we were driving on a major highway and noticed a very bright flashing amber alert sign which read, “ MISSING PERSON”.
When someone is missing an atmosphere of sadness prevails, and much anxiety develops. We know in America the family has undergone much fracturing and pain, and many times no longer resembles a unit of individuals who love each other and spend time together. On June 21st we celebrate “Father’s Day”. In so many situations today, the father has become the “missing person” of the family. As God so designed, the family would be father, mother, and child(ren). Painfully so, a fractured family feels divided, not whole, often unhappy.
Perhaps the first “father’s day” sermon was given in 1908, in a West Virginian Church, to honor 363 men previously killed in a coal mining explosion. Over the years the honoring of fathers spread from one state to another and was finally recognized and declared a national holiday in 1972, much due to the diligent work of a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd.
We realize that almost anyone can become a father, yet, it takes a special person to become a “dad”. “There is a father absence crisis in America. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 19.7 million children, more than 1 in 4, live without a father in the home. Consequently, there is a father factor in nearly all social ills facing America today.”(www.fatherhood.org)
Recently, I was walking with my granddaughter, Brisa, in the yard and she reached her soft little hand up to hold my hand. I thought what a treasure that feeling is, holding the hand of a three-year old for guidance, assurance, and trust. I wondered, in that moment, as I grew up from childhood, how many times did my dad firmly grip my little hand as we walked along the many new challenges of life? Perhaps you may not have had such an experience, and possibly your father was “a missing person” to you, and no one ever held your hand. The Psalmist tells us in 68:5 that our God is a “father to the fatherless”. No matter how much time has passed, you can still reach out your hand to grasp His Hand and gain strength and stability in your daily life.
Again the Psalmist declares: “ 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…139:9,10.
PSALM 73: 23, 24: “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel…”
By faith, God has stepped into our lives in a dynamic way, by become our loving Father and trustworthy Helper. We can reach out to His strong Hand and find the help we need to navigate this rocky road called life. Father’s Day may well remind of us a father we never had, or a father who held our little hands. However, in any case we need to make time to celebrate Father’s Day for our Heavenly Father Who gave up everything for our salvation, and gave us the power to “keep on keeping on”. Listen to these familiar words, “OUR FATHER which art in heaven,” (Matthew 6:9-13) and rejoice that you are never alone.
Although you may experience a “missing person” in your life experience, on this Father’s Day, why not turn to your heavenly Father, reach out and hold His Hand! He may even be the “missing person” in your life.
You will make your best contribution in life as you honor the One Who loves you most! 2 Corinthians 6:18: “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters.”
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, In the love of Jesus, Pastor Ken