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by Winfield Bevins
Dad loves Ellie
Phil Smidt gets a birthday card from his young daughter that has a profound theological message for Father's Day.
I love my three kids and want what’s best for them. One of the most honoring gifts they can give me is that they actually believe that. A birthday card I got years ago from my daughter, Ellie, who is now “almost 12,” is one of my most prized possessions. Its message is incredibly simple, while at the same time the theological implications are as deep as what you might learn at seminary.
I’m not a perfect father, but by God’s grace, I accept and believe that he is a perfect Father who is still patiently and lovingly working on my heart. He enjoys me and won’t quit on me. That is the message I want to continually pour out on my kids.
Here, almost six years later, Ellie writes about why she wrote what she wrote on that card.
Ellie’s earthly father loves her
I love God. I love my dad. I love art. I drew this birthday card for my dad when I was six years old. I meant to write, “I love you, Dad,” which is what you’d usually write to someone to show your affection. Instead, I accidently wrote, “Dad loves me.” I noticed my mistake right away and thought about changing it, but I then realized, “Wait, that’s even more true!”
My dad is trustworthy and consistent. I have great confidence in his love for me. One way that I notice he loves me is that he plans special dates for us. Our favorite is to go out for tea and cookies.
“I want to be a girl who always remembers, ‘Dad loves me!’”
My dad faithfully puts me to bed every night, prays for me, and tucks me in. He has also helped me get over anxiety and fear by giving me a specific verse to memorize. It is Psalm 56:3–4: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” My dad reminds me of this verse every time I am afraid that even though he might not always be with me, God is.
God’s love is perfect and surprisingly, even bigger than my dad’s.
Ellie’s heavenly Father loves her
God’s love for me is a lot like my dad’s. It is shown to me in many ways. I can trust his love even more than I can trust my dad.
Recently, two of my biggest fears have come true: we are moving to a new house and I am going to a new school. I thought these would be the hardest things in the entire world, but after praying and thinking about the verse my dad gave me, they don’t seem so scary anymore because God showed me he is bigger than any problem.
Even though Satan tempts me and sometimes I stumble, God my Father is there to pick me up. He always forgives (1 John 1:9).
There are days when I forget both of my fathers’ love for me, but they always remind me of their care. I want to be a girl who always remembers, “Dad loves me!”
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