The Father’s Joy

I knew that starting a blog was dangerous! And that one day the pressures of life would catch up with me! It’s more than a few weeks now since I last posted an entry and people keep on reminding me of my failure to do so. But the reason is very simple – we’ve been on holiday and it has taken us a little while to get back into the stream of things after returning from a much needed rest.

In the time since the last entry two great sporting events have been occupying the world’s attention – the Olympic Games, followed by the Paralympics. There can’t be many people in the world who haven’t seen some of the events on TV. There are many moments I could reflect on as I watcged the world’s athletes give of their best in the pursuit of gold.

For me, however, the lasting impact of all the amazing images that filled our screens, day after day, is not of some particularly spectacular achievement, but of camera shots that appeared every single day at all the events showing pictures of Mum and Dad – sometimes just Mum and at others just Dad – absolutely bursting with pride and joy at watching their children give of their very best.

For example, when Chris Hoy won his cycling gold medal in the velodrome, there was Mum and Dad, Mum hardly daring to watch and Dad seemingly bursting out of his skin, cheering their son on. The camera kept on flicking to their faces. It was gripping television and made the race all the more exciting and poignant, realising how involved Chris Hoy’s parents were in their son’s achievements.

As I watched Chris’s Dad jumping up and down, laughing and crying at the same time at the end of the race, I was suddenly deeply impacted in my spirit by an image of how Father God looks down on His children and is filled with joy and excitement as he watches them run their particular race of life. Realising how much joy we can give to God, simply by being the people He made us to be and doing the things he gave us to do, has given me a fresh impetus to keep running  the race for as long as He gives me breath.

I’m sure Chris Hoy must have been very aware of his Mum and Dad in the stands as he raced round the track. What a blessing to know that God is watching His children and rejoicing with them in the race they are running. Olympic gold medals are very precious – but they are only of passing significance. Let’s keep our eyes focussed on what God has called us to be and to do as we look forward to an eternal crown of life being awarded to all the redeemed who love and serve Him.


  1. And what joy we had at the first Ellel USA National conference! Tears of joy, that this was actually taking place. When I was back in the UK, I had asked so many “Why can’t this teaching come to my country of origin?”
    And there you and Fiona were! Here! Andy and Cath are an abounding blessing! Didn’t our hearts burn-with joy- that English Acres is moving forward.
    Am still giving thanks for the days in Tampa, praying for the road ahead.

  2. Well said. I think of all of the untapped potential in men. Because of the lack of passing on fathering skills for generations, the little joys, and the common delights in fathering are often missed. It wasn’t until I had a son that I realized that my Father delighted in me, protected me, helped me to grow, was there when I skinned my knee, was afraid to talk to girls, bought my first car, got my first job, got married, had our first fight, had our child, watched him grow up, …

    Some children have to win gold to get their dad’s attention, and that is really sad.

    Being a parent is such a gift, to be His child.

  3. Dear Brother Horrobin!
    I’ve recently subscribed to your blog and am looking forward to your regular entries. It’s not right that you feel as if you would have to apologize for having taken ‘a time out’. Our lifes as followers of Christ are directed by Him and I’m sure that it has been the Lord’s will for you to have a wee brake from your ministry. In the letter to the Hebrews the author mentions the Sabbath rest as given by God for His people to refresh, physically as well as spiritually from their work. ‘For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.’ (Hebrews 4:10). You should just see a holiday as an extended and deserved Sabbath rest :). Not to forget the words of King Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes in chapter 3, verse 13: ‘That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God.’
    God Bless!

  4. Dear Peter,

    Thank you for this story. We too were on a much needed family vacation recently on a small island at Lake Erie in the US.

    During our family vacation, after a day of fun kayaking, swimming and biking – our evenings were filled with watching the Olympics and cheering on the winners from every country. With much delight the whole family watched with much excitement.

    The crowds cheering in the stands reminded me of the scripture in Hebrews 12:1 & 2

    Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    Think of the ‘crowd of witnesses’ cheering the Christians on . . . the race is well worth it. Let us lay aside the weight and sin of the world and impact the world for Jesus Christ like never before. The crowd ran the race, and we are here today because of them. May the Lord find us faithful.



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