Listening to the sermon this morning, something struck me. It's no great revelation. Just a simple thought. That probably many already know or realize. God is the perfect father. I know many, myself included, question why some things happen. Why did God allow this? Why didn't he heal that? He can do miracles. He DOES allow miracles to happen sometimes. Why not every time one is needed? The answer is simple. Perfect parenthood. I may not physically be a parent. But I do understand some things of parenthood. We want the best for our kids. We don't want them to hurt or struggle. But we also want them to be strong, independent adults. You can't have both. Because to be strong and independent, you must suffer and struggle some. If we give them everything, if we make life easy for them, we have only hurt them in the long run. That is God. If he healed every hurt, if he made smooth every rough sea, think how spoiled we would be. Think how thankless we would be. Think how little we would depend on him. Think how little we would grow. Who knows how he decides who to heal and who not to…..but….to heal everyone would create a bunch of thankless children. To heal none would create a bunch of non-believers. Look at it like this-a little child with candy. Do you give them as much as they want? No. They'd be bloated and greedy. Do you withhold all candy or sweets? No. They'd likely gorge on it once they did get it. But if you give it to them sparingly, as treats, at special times, they appreciate it and learn to enjoy it when they do get it. At least, that's how I see God. Do I still get angry with him sometimes? Sure. I am nowhere near perfect. But he loves me anyway. And even though he may not chose to grant the miracle I want, I know he is still there for me to lean on, to rely on, to give me strength through my pain and struggles. I'm pretty lucky. He also blessed me with parents who try to immulate him and his parenting skills. They haven't given me everything I ever wanted. They've given me everything I've ever NEEDED……advice, shoulders to lean and cry on, support. They haven't spoiled us-no matter how much they wanted to-they simply loved us enough to allow us to struggle, grow, and learn. Thanks, Mom and Dad. Thanks, Father.