A story is told of an octogenarian father who religiously sat on his porch with huge glasses and read his cherished newspaper Dunia Wiki Hii. Apart from the usual politics, business, sports and obituaries, the newspaper carried entertainment and informative articles. That day’s features included stories about a haunted eighteenth-century street in London, Mwene we Mutapa, The Legend of Erik the Red, a Viking, and King Alfred of Wessex who stopped the Vikings in their tracks. It also had a short story about Chuma and Susi who were devoted servants of Dr David Livingstone.
His highly educated, the forty-five-year-old son sat close to his father. He was reading an article in a leading scientific journal. The article examined Mountain Gorilla’s personalities.
They also engaged in intermittent conversations centred on impending General Elections.
This they did as they sipped black coffee from their cream coloured mugs.
Unexpectedly a weaver bird landed on a tall eucalyptus tree that firmly stood four metres away from where they were sitting.
The father then pointed towards the direction of the bird and asked his beloved son, “What is the name of that bird?”
The son quickly replied, “It is called a weaver bird. Its ability to tie a knot and artistically weave nests is a rare feat in birds.”
Moments later, the father asked for the second time, “What is that bird son?”
The son replied, “Dad, I have just told you it is a weaver bird.”
After a short time again, the father once more asked, “What is that bird?”
The son replied as his face cringed in surprise and frustration. His tone changed like a chameleon’s colour, “It is a weaver bird, a weaver bird, a weaver bird.”
Few minutes passed and the bird had now been joined by others. They started to sing in conspirito and flap their wings in jolliness.
The father, for the fourth time, asked, “What are those birds son?”
The son now irritated, shouted at his father, “Why should you ask me the same question repeatedly, while I have already told you they are WEAVER BIRDS? Are you not able to understand this?”
The father did not ask again but continued to read his newspaper for a short time before he went to his room and fetched a tatty, dusty, dirty, brown-coloured diary. The diary had turned brown due to ageing. The old man had kept the diary for over forty years. He opened the first pages of the diary and asked his son to read. The son, a voracious reader, immediately placed the magazine he was reading on the floor and started on the diary.
The following words were written in the diary:
‘Today my little son aged three years was sitting with me on the porch of our house when a weaver bird settled on our window and began to sing. My son asked me 13 times what it was, and I replied to him all 13 times that it was a weaver bird. I hugged him lovingly each time he asked the same question; thirteen times. I did not feel irritated, but rather felt uncontrollable affection for my innocent child.’
Our Father in Heaven
Our God is like the Octogenarian man. He bears with all our weaknesses. Our foolishness cannot drive Him away. He is like a weaver bird; making beautiful nests for His children. Weaving all things together to make them all good to those who are called according to His purpose. He is indeed our Heavenly Father.
Our lives are authored and finished by Him alone. He is the Beginning and the Ending; the Alpha and Omega. We all have equal access to Him. We all have the privilege of basking in the warmth of His rays as He raises us from our absurdity.
‘OUR’ Father is not selfish. He has made Himself available and accessible to all who want to enjoy his fellowship. The Bible affirms this fact in several scriptures such as Romans 2:11, Job 34:19, Acts 10:34, Deuteronomy 10:17. He created all human beings as equal and in His image. He is the Father of all races and all genders. He does not look down upon anyone, for we are all His sheep. Thus we must always approach Him with no selfish motives. He does not belong to any one individual, group, community or society.
He is the one who protects us (Psalm 46:1). His shelter is not just physical but spiritual too. Not only did He protect Daniel from the lions, but also demonic forces thwarting answers to his prayers (Daniel 10:13). He does not get tired of our prayers. He does not fear our questions. He is not intimidated by our insecurities. He will never stop answering us. How many times has He tolerated our imbecilic theatrics?
His fatherly nature is also manifested in His power to provide. The Bible states that He is Jehovah Jireh, Our Provider (Genesis 22:14). He caters for our needs; physical (Luke 12:22-31) and spiritual alike (Luke 11:13). He clothes us, gives us shelter, food, and His Holy Spirit to guide and teach us His ways.
His utmost level of provision was manifested at the Cross of Calvary when He offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins.
His instructions and corrections abide with us. For a good father dishes guidance and corrections; rewards and reproofs in equal measure. This loving Father has given us the compass and the map that we should follow to our destiny. His inspired word is replete with details to help us deplete the Kingdom of darkness and delete deleterious enemies of our spirit.
A father always has a vision for His children. As a good Father, God has the best plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11). He wants us to excel in four corners of our world.
He is the one who bestows us good ideas and resources to accomplish them. He gives us gifts and talents. Some are gifted in singing, others in playing musical instruments. Some are talented in football, others in acting. Whichever gifts and talents we have, we must use them for the glory of God. We must engage them and develop them to bring honour to His name. He also prunes us so that we can grow fruit. Pruning is painful but the result is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. This balances us. A gifted man or woman without the fruit of the Holy Spirit will soon crumble like a pack of cards.
Our Heavenly Father invites us to live in love with Him. His dwelling place is full of eternal bliss. It is an exalted place, a high place of holiness. It is the Headquarters of all that is good. This does not contradict the fact that He is everywhere (Omnipresent) – Psalm 139:7. Even if we decided to make our bed in hell, He will still find us.
Therefore we can be confident that He hears us when we pray, irrespective of wherever we are. He also answers us, regardless of our placement. He delivered Peter from prison. He saved Daniel in the den of lions. He delivered Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah. He protected the three Hebrew boys from the fire. He is not confined by the walls of a prison. He is not terrified by the enemy who roams around roaring like a lion. Fires cannot stop Him, for He is in charge of nature.
Isn’t it amazing to have such a Father?