Over the years since we started publishing this magazine, I have used this space to share stories from my own faith journey.
Numerous times I have told you about my initial conversion, which happened at a prayer meeting in my parish forty-five years ago. I’ll never forget the way Jesus became so real to me. I’ve told you about my struggles when cancer claimed the eyesight of my youngest daughter at the tender age of three. I shared how Jesus helped me through this painful time and how he used it to open my eyes to the suffering in the world.
Well, I want to share another story this month. It occurred back in 1995. From the time of my conversion until then, my faith was focused almost completely on Jesus. I loved him for who he is and for what he did for us on the cross. Jesus was—and still is—my Lord, my Savior, and my Friend.
But my faith took on a whole new dimension in 1995 when I felt prompted to pray and read more about God as my heavenly Father. Until that point, even though I had prayed the Lord’s Prayer numerous times each day, I hardly ever thought about God. Sure I believed in him, but I was pretty much blind toward him.
But as I read and prayed, the parable of the prodigal son became the parable of the Father’s love. Those famous words from John’s Gospel—“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son”—which used to point me to Jesus, now pointed me to the pain that our Father must have experienced when he saw his Son suffering and dying (3:16). God the Father became real to me in a new way, and it has had a profound impact on my life.
I saw that unlike human fathers, our heavenly Father will never fail us. He loves us deeply enough to send his Son to save us. He is a merciful, compassionate Father who is “for us#8221; (Romans 8:31). He will not give us a stone when we ask for bread or a snake when we ask for a fish (Matthew 7:9-10). As Paul said, “He who did not spare his own Son” will “give us everything” (Romans 8:32).
Show Us the Father! As you can probably guess by now, this issue is focused on our heavenly Father. As you read our main articles, I hope the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to a new and profound appreciation for our Father. I hope you come to know his unlimited mercy, his boundless generosity, and the infinite love that he has for you.
I also want to invite you to send in your own witness stories. Tell us how the Lord has worked in your life—especially the dramatic ways. I promise that we will read each of them, even if we won’t be able to answer all of them. You never know; maybe we’ll print your story in an upcoming issue! You can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God, our heavenly Father, bless all of us this month.
Joe Difato, Publisher | Email the Publisher at email@example.com