Conduct an experiment the next time you are in a crowded public place. (Please don’t do this at church, though I suspect it would work equally well there.) In the middle of the crowd, yell, “Hey, Dad!” and watch to see how many men turn your way.
The first time I remember noticing this, I was a teen on a church softball team with my dad. He was standing in a group of men talking before a game and I wanted someone to throw with to warm up my arm. “Daddy!” I yelled.
Every man in the group turned my way. I didn’t sound like the son of any of those men. Yet, they responded. Some didn’t even have a child present, but they looked anyway. One had only a daughter, but he still turned my way. It was as if some magnetic force drew their eyes toward that cry.
No caring father can ignore the call of his child. Our heavenly father doesn’t either. When you call; he turns to hear. He cares too much to ever be too busy for you. As 1 Peter 3:12 says, “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer.”
Not only does a loving father hear his child, but he moves to help when there is a need. A desperate child pleading for his father’s help can be confident of a quick response. The response may not be exactly what the child wants, but a dad who cares will do what he thinks is best for his kid. Our heavenly father does the same.
You cry out; his heart tunes in. As Jesus explains in Matthew 7:11: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
It is no accident that the Bible repeatedly refers to God as “Father.” That’s a role we understand even though human dads often perform rather poorly in the role. We still get it. We understand enough that we expect a father to hear and to help his child.
If God is our father, call out to him. Ask for what you need. Trust him to look your way, to hear your plea, and to respond with what you need. That’s what a good father does.