In the soul of many men is a “willed aloneness” in which men feel separated from God, from others, and from even themselves. Men can get wrapped up in their “self-referencing self” – drifting through life like an orphan… alone, abandoned, and afraid. A quiet despair reveals men who feel fatherless, lost in the rush and complexity of modern life where relationships are sacrificed on the altar of self-importance, success, and efficiency. The story of a three-year-old boy crying in his bedroom on a cold, stormy night reflects this sense of abandonment: “Daddy,” the boy cried, “talk to me! I’m afraid because it’s so dark.” His father answers him from another room: “What good would that do? You can’t see me.” “That doesn’t matter, Daddy,” replies the child. “When you talk, it gets light.” Like this child, men who live self-enclosed lives long for the reassurance of God’s presence. Lonely men need to be fathered by their heavenly Father.
Jesus had one mission in his work on earth: to do the will of his Father. A part of that work was to bring us back to our Father. He said, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19). Jesus’ intention was to please his Father. “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me” (John 5:30).
Jesus promised not to leave us orphaned: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18). He said He is the way. “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Men, if we keep our focus on Jesus, committed and surrendered to Him, He will lead us back to our heavenly Father. We can stand in the presence of our Father without condemnation, with Jesus as our mediator. Paul reminds us, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). So as we read in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
In his high priestly prayer from John 17, Jesus prays to His Father: “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world” (v. 6). “I pray for them,” states Jesus. “I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours” (v. 9). These words should assure us that Jesus is attentive to our sense of abandonment. At the end of this prayer Jesus makes a most profound promise that should be a bedrock conviction for all followers of Jesus. “I have made you known to them and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” (v. 26).
Men, take verse 26 to heart. Jesus promises to make the Father known to us. There is no need to feel orphaned and fatherless. Even more inspiring is Jesus’ assurance that the very love the Father had for him might be in us along with the very presence of Jesus. So again I say, keep your focus on Jesus. He will bring you back to the Father and His Father’s love for you. Let yourself be “fathered by God.”