When the bat flew out of the player's hands and towards the head of a child, a father knew he only had seconds to respond. Eight-year-old Landon was distracted, sending a picture to his mom of the great view he and his dad had from behind the dugout. But love, taking the form of his father's now bruised arm, shielded him from the potentially tragic collision.
His dad Shaun Cunningham said: "I saw it heading towards him. I didn't have a lot of time. Guess I'd call it Dad-mode. Just protecting my son." An unhurt Landon told a local reporter: "I have a great dad! My dad's a hero!"
The picture has since gone viral. Everyone else is moving away from the bat, except for the father, who is moving towards it. The picture is an echo of eternity, a shadow of the divine.
You may know Ernie Johnson as the award winning sportscaster for Turner Sports. He was recently featured on ESPN's E:60. This particular episode highlighted Johnson's hard work and rise to fame, but the central theme of Ernie's story was his desire to bless his children. According to Ernie, "There is nothing better a dad can do than bless his son." His father had blessed him, and now he wants to bless his children. Another echo of eternity, a shadow of the divine.
Abraham Kuyper found that God the Father litters the world with reminders of Himself. These "few precious stones that we discover on earth are merely the scattered signposts of a new Jerusalem."
Both Shaun Cunningham and Ernie Johnson remind us of the love of a father. Shaun willingly took the pain to protect his son. Ernie works heartily to abundantly bless his children. Their love echoes and reminds us of the love of our Heavenly Father.
1. We are in the Father's hand (John 10:29). The enemy cannot touch us unless it goes through him (Luke 22:31, Job 1–2). And if it goes through him, he is a filter that only allows that which can be redeemed for his glory and our good (Romans 8:28). The cross is a reminder that God cares not only about our salvation, but also our situation.
2. The Son is at the Father's right hand (Hebrews 7:25). Right now, the Son is at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf. He is petitioning the Father to provide for our every need (Philippians 4:19). He lavishes us with grace abundantly (2 Corinthians 9:8), extends new mercies (Lamentations 3:23) and just at the right time (Hebrews 4:16).
3. The Spirit speaks for us to the Father (Romans 8:27). You may be at a loss for words, but He is speaking in groanings deeper than words (Romans 8:26). At this moment, he is petitioning the Father for what you need. He knows you better than you know yourself, and his thoughts of you are more numerous than the sands of the sea (Luke 12:7).
4. He is in complete control (Psalm 135:6). He sits on his throne and does as he pleases (Psalm 115:3). He controls the stars in the sky and dice rolled on the table (Proverbs 16:33). Kings may temporally rule, but our God eternally reigns (Proverbs 21:1)—regardless of whether our desired candidate gets elected.
Life may appear out of control, but know that God is in complete control. You may be distracted like Landon, but God is protective. He doesn't have a bruised arm, but Jesus does have a nail pierced hand.
Publication date: March 9, 2016
Do you want to live a life in whole-hearted pursuit of loving God and others?
Read today's First15 at www.first15.org.