God is the one dad who will never leave you

Kelsey Mitchum

If you’ve been around church for any length of time you have probably heard this: “God won’t leave you or abandon you ... God is a good father, and He will always be with you.”

But for many of us, those truths don’t feel true. It’s hard to imagine God as an ever-present Father when you don’t have a present dad. 

My ideal picture of a father faded at age 13. Right as things got weighty my dad packed up and moved four hours away with my brother in tow. All the promises to be there for me felt watered down. I didn’t know if those statements were true anymore. 

It’s hard to imagine God as an ever-present Father when you don’t have a present dad.

Maybe you have a similar story. Your dad promised that he’d always be there, and you haven’t heard from him in years. Or your dad is physically present but emotionally distant. Maybe your dad passed away. The pain of having an absent dad cuts deep. 

When our relationships with our early dads hinder us from seeing God as our present Father, how do we align our hearts with that truth? Our best bet is to look to the Bible. It’s where we can find truth no matter what our circumstances say. 

Five Verses that Remind Us God Is Ever-Present

1. Psalm 139:7-12 

“Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.”

2. Psalm 23:4

“Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.”

3. Matthew 28:19-20

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 4. Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

5. Romans 8:38-39 

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

What These Promises Tell Us About God 

Psalm 139 reminds us that we can’t escape God’s presence. No matter where we are in life — physically, spiritually, or emotionally — we can open up to God and tell Him how we feel. He is right ready to meet us because He cares about His children. 

Psalm 23:4 reminds us that we aren’t alone in hard times. God is there, too. We draw close to God, trusting that His ways are higher than ours. When we draw near rather than run away, we see God reveal Himself as our comforting Father. 

Matthew 28:20 reminds us that God is with us in the exciting, but often uncomfortable and scary things, He calls us to. When God says, “Jump!”, we can take the leap of faith because He is with us. When we’re sharing our faith, we’re not taking a risk because God’s got this. Jesus is the one who transforms hearts; we’re simply partnering with Him by telling others the good news.

Joshua 1:9 reminds us that courage comes from God’s presence. We don’t have to be afraid or discouraged because God is with us. When we need to hear our heavenly Dad’s voice, we can cry out and he’ll be there to remind us, “I’m right here. Everything is going to be OK.” 

We can be courageous and brave in all circumstances because Romans 8:38-39 reminds us that no circumstances — not even death — can separate us from God. We can give our whole heart to God without restraint or fear of Him leaving. We will never, ever have to live without our heavenly Father. 

God is the ever-present, perfect Father our hearts long for. He is everything our earthly fathers haven’t been and could never be because He is “the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9). 

Every dad falls short in some way, but our God is faithful every day.  

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