I was fortunate to be born to a father who loved me. Not that he was perfect, but he tried to do the right thing. And he loved me.
The one thing I never wanted to do was disappoint my dad. To hear the lecture that began, “I’m really disappointed in you” was to feel a pain worse that any spanking could leave.
I have friends who felt the same sentiment as me growing up – “Go ahead and beat me. Just don’t give me ‘the talk.’”
As bad as the feeling of disappointing my dad was, the feeling of making him proud was at the opposite swing of the emotional pendulum.
He was never shy when it came to boasting about his four children. His conversations with others would often begin, “Have I told you about David (or Martell or Steve or Paul)? Then he would launch into a, sometimes amplified, detailing of our latest efforts in life.
If pride could literally cause someone to pop a button off their vest, that would have been my dad.
To see his beaming face, to feel his strong hug, and to hear him say, “I’m so proud of you,” would trigger a feeling of warmth in my heart that spread throughout my body. It was a feeling that would last for days or weeks.
Now that I’ve raised two daughters and have six grandchildren I understand even better why he felt so proud. Right or wrong, I feel like there is a piece of me in the lives of all them. It’s like whatever they do is a reflection of me.
Through them I can achieve things that I could never do on my own.
All this is what makes God’s statement to Satan in Job 1:8 so fascinating to me. Listen to what he says: Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
Honestly, that sounds like something my daddy would have said to someone about his children. (And we would have been embarrassed at his use of hyperbole.)
Do you hear the pride in God’s voice? Can you sense the satisfaction he felt about how Job was turning out?
This must have been a longstanding point of contention between God and Satan. Satan coming to report to God about all the sin and evil in the world, taunting God with things like, “There’s not a redeemable quality in these humans you created,” “They are worthless and useless,” “They are just like me, full of evil,” “Why waste time being involved with them?”
God would say, “No you’re wrong Satan. There is good in them. And there are people who have chosen to live godly lives, unlike you. For instance, look at……”
Each time God would have an example to hold in Satan’s face, Satan would grind his teeth in anguish, thinking, “Why does He always find the good in people?!”
I wonder if God ever told Job that he was proud of him? Did he ever tell Job about his conversation with Satan?
I like to think that he did. He certainly did when Jesus was on the earth, “This is my son whom I love…”
What would it feel like to have God whisper in your ear, “I’m proud of you”?
In the end, isn’t that all that will matter? Is God proud of me, or not?
I suppose that’s all I should be concerned about as I journey through my brief stay on earth, “Am I making my Daddy proud?”
If I’ll focus on that, everything else will fall into place.