I’ve been reflecting about my two fathers — my human father and my heavenly Father. There are parallels between them, but some important differences.

As a young child, I knew my dad was bigger, stronger and smarter than I was. By the time I was a teenager, Dad had shrunk considerably. I began to think I knew as much as he did about a lot of things – and more about some.

God never shrinks. The danger comes when I get too big in my own eyes to see Him.

My Dad was average height. When I was little, if I didn’t look up to him, I would have been talking to his kneecaps.

There’s nothing even close to average about God. No matter how big I might get, I’ll always have to look up when I talk with Him, because He is exalted above all things.

When my father went to work, we were separated.

I am never separated from God; I am part and parcel of His work. I can never be somewhere where He isn’t working.

As an adult when I was unsure about a decision, I used to ask Dad what he thought.

I can always ask God what He knows.

Dad taught me to say “please” and “thank you;” to be polite and not demanding. I was urged to help my brother and sister, to cooperate and to share with others

God teaches me to be grateful, not self-centred, and thoughtful of others, because He knows my inner well-being depends on it.

As a child, I was used to asking, “Dad, can I go ____________? Can I do ____________?” I learned to ask before I went somewhere, or did something. I always let my parents know where I was going.

God wants me to ask, to realize I can benefit from His guidance in all things. He doesn’t want me to lose the practice of going to Him first, instead of using Him as an emergency backup. He always knows where I am, far more than I do.

I remember when I started school, I wasn’t too impressed with my stone-faced, imperious teacher. “You have to do what the teacher says,” my Dad gently told me. He taught me to respect authority, and to learn from what I was being taught

God is the ultimate authority. Unlike my first teacher in school, He wants a relationship with me that is loving; one in which obedience comes willingly. God wants me to be a lifelong learner, hungry for the fresh message of His Word, eager to know His will in all things.

Dad used to lift me up until I got too big. By the time I was eight, he’d stopped holding my hand.

I’m never too big for God to lift. He’s still holding my hand – whenever I reach out to Him.

Dad disciplined me as he thought best.

God disciplines me as He knows is best.

Dad wanted to erect a fence around his children in response to his own needs and fears.

God has given me the fencing material and shown me the boundary lines. He knows the fence will only be effective if I choose it myself.

Dad was a good father who sometimes made mistakes.

God is a perfect Father who never does.

I’m thankful today that I had a good father, and eternally grateful to have the best Father.