My dad told me once that having children is like eating a many-layered cake (and life is like a box of chocolates..)
The first thing you see, and all you see, is the icing. That's the first year-and-a-half or so. Then the next layer is the toddler years, and the layers continue with childhood, preteen, teenage, and young adult years. He said that each layer, or season, you go through has it's own flavor, and just when you think the parenthood couldn't be better, you take your first bite of the new season. Each season surprises you with joy because of newly found aspects of the relationship. You don't want your infant to grow too fast, yet you cherish his/her first words. Your toddlers bubbly ramblings turn into a child's questions and their personality begins taking shape. The child grows into himself and begins to explore and pick up interests. The conversation with your teen becomes deep and wide, and you see a man or woman standing in his place. And just outside the solid barriers you've built walks your once child, now your dearest friend.
Matthew 7:11 says, "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!."
I am a daddy's girl, no doubt about it. To say I'm blessed with a good dad is an understatement. I'm beyond thankful to have a godly man like him in my life. And I've been able to experience the joys of many seasons in our relationship. He's my prince and my rescuer, my confidant and counselor, my brother and friend. He been my hand-holder, piggy-back-giver, wrestling coach, fashion guru, protector, financial advisor, and wisdom fountain (among other things).
But how much more is my heavenly father? When I was a baby (I still am, really), He rocked me and held my hand and it was His joy. When I fall, it is His joy to pick me up and dust me off. Sometimes He lets me go for a short while so I can learn to take steps and not wobble so much, but He always right behind me, arms open and ready to catch me (because He knows I'm going to fall). He adores my personality and cherishes laughter. He guides me to see fearful circumstances as opportunities. He applauds the smallest of achievements from the front row and pushes me to the next milestone, to cross that next line. And when I stumble, He shows me how to stand up again (though bruised), laugh, forgive myself, and learn.
"What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He did not even spare His own Son but offered Him up for us all; how will He not also with Him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God's elect? God is the One who justifies." Romans 8:31-33
God is for me, just like my earthly father. Any lesson that is hard, or any difficult season that feels far away - that is all for me. He will never leave me or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5), and God means what He says.