Reflections of Gail Miller
I am Gail Miller and my father is Clarence Miller. It is a pleasure to be able to tell you about my relationship with my father. I am 47 years old and he is 69 and will be 70 in November. I don’t take it for granted that the Lord has allowed us so many years together. Many have lost their fathers by the time they are my age. I am so blessed to still have mine with me.
The love of my earthly father established a foundation for my understanding of the love of my Heavenly Father in many ways. First, my earthly showed me that a loving father is present and wants to spend time with his children. Even when I was a busy, active teenager and he was in the corporate grind, we had what we called “quality time” on the weekends. Sometimes it was as brief as 15 minutes, but I knew that my father sought me out to spent time with me and he instilled so many life-impacting principles in me like, “First you’re born, then you die and in between there is something…what will you do with that something?” or “Make your decisions, but always be willing to accept the consequences of your actions.” These and so many other nuggets were extended in brief interactions during some of the busiest times in our lives. But even when we did not get extended time to connect, I knew he was there, that he cared for me, and that he was committed to our family.
A second characteristic of the Heavenly Father that was modeled by my earthly father was that he is a provider. While my father always surprised me with a gift of cash on my nightstand, which I loved as a teenager, he also provided the emotional stability that I needed. My emotional tirades were always met with loving, but settling guidance…so needed for a maturing young lady. In this way, God as a provider of all of my needs was modeled by my earthly father.
A final characteristic of our Heavenly Father that I understood from my earthly father was the importance of joy. One of my first memories of my father was the image of him sitting at my mini-kid-sized piano with 3 toes of his size-13 feet in my house shoes, singing some song to me! Just fun…and this sense of joy and laughter has been a part of our lives as long as I can remember and it has helped us weather some very difficult storms. My father’s expectation of excellence is balanced by his appreciation of joy.
I have heard it said that referring to our Heavenly Father as our ‘Abba Father’ is like calling him ‘Daddy.’ Well, those who know me well, know that I have always called my earthly father ‘Daddy’, and I still call him Daddy, even at the age of 47. This is because of the love he has shown me all of my life, especially during my formative years. It was an easy concept for me to see Father God as a loving Daddy.
Enjoy your time together
Young ladies, do not take your father for granted. The fact that he is here with you says that he loves you and wants a meaningful relationship with you. Enjoy your time with him and learn from him.
Fathers, being present, engaged in your children’s lives, a provider both physically and emotionally, and a source of joy establishes a firm foundation for your children’s spiritual growth. We are watching and learning from you in ways that we cannot express. Follow Christ so that we can be led by you to a place where our Heavenly Father will be pleased.
Thank you so much for allowing me to share my reflections of my father with you.