Daddy’s Coat: A Coat of Love

“. . . And by him we cry, Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15 NIV).

His suit hung on the hanger in his closet, pressed and ready to be worn. However, neither it nor any of the other pieces of his clothing would ever be worn by him again. After losing his battle with lung cancer at the age of 64, my daddy no longer needed any of the outer garments he used to wear.

 

Months later, when my family and I were going through Daddy’s belongings, I knew I wanted to keep one of his suit coats to help me remember his 6’ 3’’ frame, broad shoulders, and long arms. I picked out the one I remembered him in the most and took it home with me.

 

Once home I took the coat and held it to my chest remembering all the times I saw him in his suit—walking in the back door of my childhood home at the end of the day, stepping off the plane while returning home from an international business trip, or walking into church with his family in tow. With much care I opened it and slid my arms and then my body into the garment that was tailored to fit him. I could feel the weight of the material upon my smaller frame and see the extra length of his sleeves that fell well below my hands.

 

To hold out the arms of the coat brought back memories of tickle wars as well as ear thumpings when he stretched his long arm across the back of the pew to make my brothers or me stop misbehaving. The broad shoulders of the coat that rested upon my small ones reminded me of the times we used his shoulders as a diving board while swimming.

 

As I wrapped myself in the extra material of his suit coat I longed for a hug from this large man that not only loved my family and me but was our shield and protector.

 

To put on his coat was to put on his love, a love I never had to question . . .

but would have to learn to live without.

God has a coat of love for me as well—one that shields and protects and will remain forever. And, as His child wearing His coat, I can call Him “Abba, Father.”

His Word tells me:

  • He holds me in His arms and will love me forever, for Psa. 136:12 says, “With a mighty hand and outstretched arm; His love endures forever.”
  • He is with me, “He will take great delight in (me); in His love He . . . will rejoice over (me) with singing” (Zeph. 3:17).
  • He loves me, “For God so loved (me) that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

 

As I wrap myself in God’s coat of truths from His Word, I feel the warmth of a hug from this Holy God who loves me and wants me to call Him, Abba . . . Daddy.

 

To put on His coat is to put on His love, a love I never have to question . . .

nor ever live without.

Dear Father, help me to always remember the sacrifice You made by giving Your Son to die for my sins so I could become Your child. I’m thankful I’m Your daughter and can call You “Abba, Father”—”Daddy,”and that Your love will always be with me. Happy Father’s Day.

 

(photo courtesy of photobucket.com)

Beth Fortune

Beth has a passion for God's Word. Through her writing and speaking she allows the heartbeat of the Father to flow through her words. As an award-winning writer she’s a contributing writer with Christian Devotions and has had stories published in two "Chicken Soup For the Soul Book" Series in addition to other anthologies. Some of her articles have been published in Focus on Family’s "Thriving Family" magazine and Dr. Charles Stanley’s "In Touch" magazine. With a degree in Ornamental Horticulture she loves gardening and enjoys giving gardening talks to churches, schools, and community groups but her real enjoyment comes from sharing God's truths and encouraging others. She and her husband live in Mauldin, SC where they are in a season of caregiving for her father-in-law in the home. A diffiult season, but one in which God continues to show His grace. You can visit her at www.bethfortune.net.

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3 comments

  1. Oh Beth, how well I remember the first time I heard you tell this story. I sat there and cried as your story translated into mine. We were so blessed to have such good daddies who taught us the meaning of fatherly love. How easily it translates into the love of my Heavenly Father. Thank you for the reminder!

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