A Greater Love

March 14, 2019 by Linawati Santoso (East Java, Indonesia)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” — (John 3:16, NIV)

Linawati and her father, Go Gwan Jung

My father's name is Go Gwan Jung. He was born in 1953, and he is a truly ordinary father. But his love to his three children — me, my older sister, and my older brother — makes him special in my heart.

When I was a child, my family faced financial difficulties. I remember after school, at the dinner table there was only a little food. Often my father did not eat because he chose to give the food to me and my siblings.

At first I did not know that my father often went hungry because he never complained or said, “Oh, I'm hungry!” But one day my aunt came to our house and brought us a lot of food. My father ate so much of the food, and then I realized that he was often hungry.

Our family did not have car or motorcycle. Every day my brother, sister, and I went to and from school by pedicab. I remember one morning my father only gave us enough money to go to school. “Don’t worry,” he said, “I'll be picking you up when you get home from school.” When it was the time for us to go home, I saw my father standing in front of the school gate. “I do not have money,” he said, “let's walk home together.” My father had known all along that he didn't have enough money for the pedicab, but instead of simply telling us to walk home alone, he chose to walk with us.

My brother began suffering from a mental disorder after graduating from high school. Our father patiently cared for him every day. He took my brother to the doctor and persuaded him to take his medicine. Even when my brother hit our father and my sister and I were angry, he was not angry.

My father has done many other things for my sister, my brother, and me that show us how much he loves us, his three beloved children. Every time I remember my father's love and struggles, I also remember our Father in heaven. Yes, besides my earthly father, my Father in heaven also loves me deeply! His love is shown to us through Jesus, as John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

My father's love has helped me better understand the love of God. Even though the love of my earthly father is not perfect, the love of my Father in heaven is. I thank God for giving me a good earthly father, and I thank God for being my heavenly Father.

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