Tonight I’m taking my youngest daughter Kitty to the Daddy Daughter Dance, so I’m going to talk about her for a minute. Our older daughter Abbie is the sweet one. When I come home from a run of shows, she still drops what she’s doing and runs up to give Daddy a hug. Kitty, on the other hand, is a little tougher. She’s sweet, don’t get me wrong, but she’s not often emotional. You have to earn it.

A few years ago we were camping near a river in the North Georgia Mountains. I brought some inner tubes so me and the girls could float down the river. Not a minute went by before a huge hornet’s nest was hanging over the water.

“Kitty, look out!” I yelled. Kitty screamed, then ducked, then looked at me and laughed.

We went down a couple of rapids, then the water got too shallow. I carried our tubes as we splashed through the shallower water, picking up cool looking rocks as we went. Then it got deep enough and we floated down the river some more.

As we neared the put out spot, Kitty looked up at me and smiled. “I love you, Daddy..”

I about fell out of my inner tube.

It isn’t perfect, but I think the image of God as a Daddy, as a loving father, is the closest earthly picture we can have to how he views us. It’s hard for many of us, I know. You might have had a father who treated you harshly, or you might be like me, losing your father at an early age. But we all have that idea of what a Daddy should be like.

And that’s what God is.

Just as I looked out for Kitty and helped her avoid the hornet’s nest, God wants to help us navigate through life. Just as my relationship with my children grows not through quality time (whatever that is) but through quantity of time spent together, God wants to spend that time with me.

I would do anything for my kids, and when they tell me they love me, my heart wants to leap out of my chest. God’s love for his children is all those things times infinity.

Make sure to spend more time with your Heavenly Father so that your relationship can grow. If you have an image of a God who is stern or distant, pray and ask him to reveal to you a more accurate picture. Chances are it will be as a loving Father.