Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Many countries in the world will be honoring fathers tomorrow (June 19) as they celebrate Father's Day. But what can you do for him? Get him a new tie, a new shirt, or some electronic "toy" that a man might like? And of course, a nice card with words of appreciation. He would like that. But with all the excitement that Mother's Day brought last month, and the round of graduation ceremonies, there is usually not much energy left for Father's Day celebrations.
However, fathers are the family entity most in need of help today. In most single parent families something has happened to father; he's gone. And in many prosperous two-parent families, father is so stressed out trying to keep the family financially sound that he has little if any spiritual or emotional energy left for being a father to the children. Millions of children don't "know" their father. He's just too "busy." Ask the welfare specialists and divorce lawyers.
But where there's a need, there's a Savior. The very last verse of the monumental Old Testament contains a divine promise of special blessings for fathers: "I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord [this is 'present truth']. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children ..." (Mal. 4:5, 6). A miraculous intervention.
Who is "Elijah"? Some white-haired old man in a robe? Jesus made plain that the answer is No; "he" is a message. The message of John the Baptist was the initial fulfillment of the prophecy (see Matt. 11:7-14). Therefore the final fulfillment will also be a message; a message that grips the heart, that heals old wounds, that reconciles alienated hearts to God and to one another.
Better than some new toy for Dad will be an understanding, mature, sympathetic prayer on your part, and a realization that you can be a human agent for "Elijah" to do his work. And if you don't have a Dad to pray for in that way, there are plenty of them all around you who need that "message."
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: June 8, 2000.
Copyright © 2016 by "Dial Daily Bread."