10 days ago, the world was shocked by the news of the death of former NBA great, Kobe Bryant, and his daughter Gianna (Gigi), along with seven other people in a fatal helicopter crash. It was sickening. The news reports seemed fake and the nature of the catastrophe – unimaginable.
Wives lost their husbands. Children lost their parents. Parents lost their sons and daughters. Brothers and sisters lost their siblings. It has been the type of tragedy that leaves you with a pit in your stomach regardless of connection.
Since that tragic hour on the morning of Sunday, January 26th, the tributes to these nine lives lost have been endless. But one tribute stuck out to me more than the rest. ESPN sports reporter Elle Duncan shared her personal anecdote of meeting Kobe Bryant at an awards show a year and a half prior. I’ve linked the video in this post because it is a must watch.
Kobe was a #GirlDad. Being a father was of highest joy and importance to him and with a global spotlight constantly on him, it was beautiful to see the way he honored, celebrated, and supported his four beautiful daughters and his wife Vanessa.
#GirlDad began to trend on social media in the wake of his death and it was incredible to see men around the world acknowledging and celebrating the girls in their lives. Just look up #GirlDad and you will be overwhelmed by the images.
This concept of #GirlDad got me to thinking about the ultimate #GirlDad – our Heavenly Father.
In a world full of sin, it is inevitable that many of your fathers were not great dad, and if that was the case for you, I am truly sorry. I want you to know that your earthly father’s imperfection is a stark contrast to the perfect, unfailing, loving character of your Heavenly Father – and that is what I want to unpack today – what is true about you and me because of our identity as daughters of a perfect father.
We are set apart because of who we belong to.
“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.” – 1 John 3:1 (NLT)
Our daughtership means that we are unique because we are loved by a Heavenly Father who recognizes us as his own.
We were thoughtfully made.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)
Every part of our being has been carefully crafted. Our Creator knows every inch of us because he is the one who gave us life.
We are guided and corrected in love.
“My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” – Proverbs 3:11-12 (NLT)
Through the Word of God and the gift of the Holy Spirit we have access to daily guidance for our lives. Our Heavenly Father does not ask us to walk out our faith alone – he provides a helper and discipline as we grow.
Our Heavenly Father is a great provider.
“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” – Matthew 6:26 (NLT)
“What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin?But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” – Matthew 10:29-31 (NLT)
If God provides for the needs of the birds of the air, how much more will he provide for his own daughters?
We have a fierce protector.
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” – John 10:28-30
As daughters of a perfect heavenly father, our lives are safe with him. As his children, we are given the gift of his Son and the promise of eternal life. Nothing can be more encouraging and life giving than that.
Kobe was a dad who loved to give his children good gifts, support, and unconditional love, and he died doing what he loved – being a dad.
God sent his only son to die because of what he loved – his children – so that we might have eternal life.
What a glorious thing it is to be the daughter of a King.
While the celebrity of Kobe Bryant contributes to the world-wide tragedy, please be in prayer for the other families affected by the crash – the Bryant family, the Chester family, the Altobelli family, the Zobayan family, and the Mauser Family. Consider donating to the Mamba On Three foundation to support these families.