A Coach and a Daddy, Too

3796854172_9f0ee0c2d8_oDon’t you just love it when life surprises you with something you’ve never seen before? I experienced just such a moment this past weekend. While Don was off work on Saturday and could be with his mom at the hospital, I slipped out of town to tend to a must-do errand and also spend some time with family.

Mom and Dad had gone to Tulsa to see my nephew Gavin’s basketball game, and even though I arrived a little late, I managed to get in on the fun, too. Since our girls never played organized basketball, I had never seen a team of 5 and 6 yr. old boys and girls out on the court showing off their skills — or lack thereof :)

Of course, they all looked as cute as could be, especially one little guy who wore a sweat band and rocked and bounced to and fro, trying his hardest, I imagine, to imitate the big guys he sees on tv. I spent most of my time trying to get a good picture of Gavin in action, but between not knowing the ins and out of my camera yet and my batteries running out, I failed to get the shot I wanted. And speaking of shots, Gavin made a basket — before I got there! Darn!

I soon noticed the coaches running up and down the court with their players, offering direction up close and personal. The expected collisions and falls took place, of course, and it was during one of those that I saw a sight I’d never witnessed before while watching high school and college ball. In the midst of several little bodies that managed to wind up on the floor, one little girl must have needed some extra attention because her coach was quickly on the scene, reaching down to help her. The next thing I knew he gathered her up in his arms and carried her off the court. She wrapped her legs around his waist and clung to him for comfort.

You know, that coach must have been a daddy, too. He may not have been her daddy, but he was definitely a daddy. He knew what she needed, and he gave it willingly. Sometimes all a daddy has to do is reach out a hand to comfort or guide or walk alongside his child. But other times more is needed. Sometimes we need to be carried.

Those of us who have daddies who are there for us, who are willing to reach out their hands to us or even carry us, are truly blessed. I realize not everyone is so lucky. But we are all fortunate on another count. We all do have a Father, a heavenly Father, who longs to fill that role for us. At times in scripture, the name “Abba” is used for God. My NIV Bible text notes tell me that “Abba” is Aramaic for “Father” and expresses an especially close relationship to God. In other words, it’s like calling God “Daddy”.

So the question is, are we allowing God to be more than our coach — more than one who offers direction and encouragement? Are we allowing Him to reach down into our hurts and touch us with His helping hand? Do we let Him pick us up and carry us when we need it? Do we lean into Him and cling to Him for comfort? If not, let’s make that choice today. Let’s let Him be our Abba — our Daddy.

“…but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.'” Romans 8:15b

*Flickr photo by Elizabeth Buie, Creative Commons License

**Update: Yes, my mother-in-law is still in the hospital. Hopefully, this hospitalization will be much shorter than the last one. We’re hoping she’ll be stabalized soon and able to go back to her assisted living home. The plan this time will be to reduce the amount of fluid in her 5x per week infusions and hope it will be enough to help keep the kidney working but not enough to overwhelm her system and cause congesive heart failure. As always, thanks for your prayers!


  1. Great post…I can only imagine how cute the children were as they played. Our Abba Father, so much more than a coach or guide.

  2. I needed to hear that blessing and be reminded of how much our Abba loves us.

    Still lifting up prayers for your family and your MIL.

  3. Cheryl, I will continue to pray for your precious mother in law.

    I came over from Amy E’s blog where she suggested reading this message and she was right.

    You encouraged me because I have prayed, “Abba Father” all the time and when I’m speaking to our Father I ofen say “Daddy God”. He is all of that and more to my life. I did not have a good situation being raised with my mother and step father but my Grandparents were like parents to me and my Grandpa was my Daddy/my hero and was there to wipe the wounds, hug me, wipe the tears and say, “now now Grandpa’s baby girl…it’s going to be ok”.

    He was a reflection of Abba’s love.

    Beautiful message Cheryl. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for the comments, ladies. Each one is precious to me and very much appreciated — as are your prayers. Thanks!

  5. This is a beautiful story beautifully written, Cheryl.


  6. Cheryl,
    I’m just getting over to read this. What a great post. The image of the little girl clinging onto her coach for comfort is precious. (FYI…my son is 11 and plays basketball. His games have finally graduated from a contact sport/organzied chaos to an actual game!)

    I love the image of God as Daddy, although it’s hard for me to accept and believe. Thanks for your vivid reminder.

    I’m praying for your MIL.

  7. Thanking God for the gift of such a sacred reminder of how our Father carries us especially close in our time of need. Thanking him also for your life! Honestly, some drivers (including myself at times) need to keep their eyes on the road and on the pedestrians in their path.

    God is ever working on our behalf, even when we cannot see his hand. I know he’s been working overtime for you and your family.

    Much love and peace to you this week~elaine

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