On Father’s Day, like most special days – for some this is a joyous day…  And for others it can be a painful day – or something in between…

On special days, our feelings can be somewhere between 2 words that start with the letter “G.”  Think about your relationship with your earthly father or father figure.

The first “G” word is Gratitude:  As we look at our relationship with our father we can experience gratitude.  For all the good they have done, we want to be able to say “thank you.”  Reflect on your father for a moment.

Here’s a little of my story. I don’t remember my earthly father. Even though I don’t know my father, I can be grateful for life!  I had a hard-working step-father who adopted and gave me his name. He was an amazing provider for our family.  I am grateful to God that he adopted me and provided for me. 

What are you grateful for about your father?

However, in some of my relationship with my father, I experienced some of the second word that starts with “G”, Grief.

Grief is the gift God gives us to work through loss.  Loss of any kind can cause us to experience grief… Loss of a loved one, loss of a dream, loss of something precious.

“Good grief” is good – it helps us adjust to changes we experience and helps us form our new sense of reality after the loss.

I would have loved to have spent more time with him, get his advice, and to hear about his life.  I would have loved to have him ask me to spend time with him.  That did not happen.  For these unmet desires and dreams, I felt a sense of loss. He’s dead now, gone for almost 20 years.

I used to have grief when I thought of him.  Now, God has helped me grieve and has given me men who are brothers and father figures. I feel pretty whole now, even though sometimes I feel a twinge of loss

How about you? Are you like me, somewhere between gratitude and grief? 

We can endure many painful days and take a balanced look at life circumstances when we review both the gratitude and the grief.  That is very common of this human condition. 

Gratitude helps us be thankful for what we have. Grief helps us manage and calibrate our dreams and hurts, helps us on the path toward healing and helps us identify the steps we need to take to resolve the past so we can continue to live life to the fullest.

And yes, we can experience gratitude and grief at the same time…

When we acknowledge things as they are, we can take all our feelings, thoughts, and emotions and lay them at the feet of Jesus where we can receive grace – God’s loving acceptance and more… His loving, healing presence.

So that the gratitude and grief resolve into experience the joy that Jesus promises.  Joy that comes from being loved and connected with our creator and living the abundant life He planned for us.

We have a great high priest, who has gone into heaven, and he is Jesus the Son of God.” This is why we must hold on to what we have said about him. Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved grace, and we will find help. Hebrews 4:14-16 CEV