By Tim Parrish
It was easy to spot that old ’63 Chevy truck coming down the road. It was red with a white top, and it sported cab lights above the windshield. It wasn’t in the best condition; in fact, you could almost put your feet through the holes in the floor. It wasn’t fast, or loud, or pretty. It didn’t even have a working radio. But I would sit at the end of our gravel driveway in the afternoon waiting for that pickup to exit the highway and head down our tar-and-chip road. When that old red truck turned into our driveway, I would run as fast as my little legs would carry me to climb into the wood-floored bed and ride to the house as proud as any hero in a grand parade. You see, the sight of that truck signaled that my Daddy was coming.
He worked in a factory just a few miles away, but I could count on him coming home every day. Even if my day had been less-than-ideal, Daddy was coming, and that simple fact would make for a better night. There was some kind of balance that was restored by his coming. And I eagerly waited for him. His return might mean we’d go fishing. It could just mean we would soon enjoy a peaceful family meal around the table. But I was certain of one thing: he was coming.
I think this is the same kind of anticipation that the prophet Micah is talking about in his last message: Micah’s message, like many of the prophets of old, was not very positive. He spoke of God’s coming judgment for the rebellious sin of the Hebrew people. He reminded the people of their offenses and painted a dismal portrait of Israel’s future. Yet, in the midst of this bleak prophecy, Micah found a glimmer of hope in anticipating his Father’s coming. “But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me” (7:7).
In telling Moses what to say to the enslaved Jews, God described Israel as His “firstborn son” (Exodus 4:22). He is described in Psalm 68:5 as a father to the fatherless. Speaking for the nation, Isaiah calls Him “our Father” (Isaiah 63:16). Jesus taught His followers to pray to God as a Father (Matthew 6). Paul illustrates the Christian’s familial relationship with God by using the image of adoption (Romans 8; Ephesians 1). Paul even talks in Romans 8 of the entirety of creation “groaning” as it waits for the final, redemptive moment of our adoption.
These and numerous other Scriptures make it clear that God wants to be known to us as our Father, an extremely tender and precious relationship. Is it any wonder, then, that Micah would eagerly wait for God? We are strengthened to bear up under the trials we face by the anticipation of our reunion with “Abba” (Galatians 4:6). We wait for the balance of all things to be set right, for all of the less-than-ideal seasons of life to be transformed into something better. We believe that our Father’s presence will render everything else irrelevant, thrilling us beyond description.
It is with love that I honor my earthly father. I am thankful for the ways he helped me understand the relationship God desires with me. And with the same certainty as I waited for his old red and white truck, I wait for my Heavenly Father.
By Tim Parrish