I still enjoy watching reruns of The Andy Griffith Show. In fact, I can probably whistle the theme song. At the opening credits of the show, a young Opie Taylor, in his striped t-shirt and rolled-up jeans, would walk hand in hand with his father Andy. They were going fishing.
The show was so beloved that many Americans still name Andy Griffith as their example of a good father. The sheriff of Mayberry was calm and steadfast, kind and upright, always demonstrating love and patience to his son. But, we also know that it was only a television show . . . a fictional portrayal of this family and town.
While many of us treasure the relationship we have had with our earthly father, we recognize that for many others a “good father” did not exist. The good news is that our Heavenly Father will meet and surpass our need to be loved.
Jesus uses the words “Our Father who is in heaven . . . ” to begin the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9). Jesus invites us to pray those words as well: “Our Father.” Because of our salvation, we have been adopted as the children of the Almighty God (John 1:12). We have a Heavenly Father. As the children of God, we have a Father who is always accessible. He is waiting and ready to hear and respond to our prayers. Whether we are crying in distress or rejoicing in victory, we can turn to our Father (Matt. 7:9–11).
As the children of God, we can know without a doubt that we are loved. Human love is a mere reflection of the divine. God sees us completely, yet His love never wavers. Nothing can separate us from His love (Rom. 8:37–39).
As the children of God, we will be corrected. God disciplines us because He loves us (Heb. 12:5). We become stronger and wiser through His reproof. When we follow His commands and walk in His will, we grow as men and women of God.
As the children of God, we are graciously forgiven. While children may hide in shame, a loving parentwill always forgive. In The Andy Griffith Show Andy never refused to forgive Opie, and Jesus tells the story of the prodigal son to express the forgiving nature of our Heavenly Father. God is waiting and ready to forgive and restore us (Luke 15).
For all of these reasons, and so many more, I count it a privilege to be a child of God, my Heavenly Father!