Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Father in Heaven


I read this post from Bev at Aspergers Square 8 about the power her father's words had over her even at age 47. Asperger's or not, we all crave words of affirmation like that from a father. Fortunately, our Father in Heaven has left us The Word.

At 43, I still experience pangs of needing to hear something akin to what Bev's father said to her. I have lived most of my life not knowing my own father (for some very good reasons). That reality has at different times caused me to feel independent, smug, numb, and deprived. While the absence of a father leaves a void, it also presents a portal to knowing the one and only, truly perfect Father who is God in heaven.

As a young girl and college student I enjoyed creating an imaginary dad for myself by cherry picking traits from my friends' dads and other men I knew, to make a composite of the dad I dreamed of as my own. This fantasy man was perfect maybe, but definitely non-existent. Now as a 43 year old adult, I see that even those most glowing and desirable traits are merely a reflection of the very nature of God the Father. As a believer, why not go right to the source and relish in my position as His prized daughter?

The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday in tribute to a father who epitomized the tough love of a generation ago. It made me cry, but not with yearning. My personal fantasy dad was no Mr. Helliker (notice he did not have daughters)! His strength of character and courage are of a bygone era. What it underscored for me though, is how dimly we see in the mirror the mystery of all God encompasses. He is strong, yes and tough and just and fair but, all at once He is also gentle, good, kind, tender, affectionate and expressive.

One of the most moving weeks in my Bible study this winter was Week 7 in Living Beyond Yourself. Beth Moore, as only Beth can, drills down deep to illustrate each fruit of the Spirit. God not only comes alongside us in kindness to help us parent our difficult children but He is also our parent. He comes to us--no matter how old--and "allows His throne to become a rocking chair." Just as babies need to be held, rocked, and soothed by parents in order to grow and fully develop, we need to let God love us as His children. We "can't know God only as the Sovereign Judge. We must also know Him as the nurturing parent--or our growth will be stunted."

The Father's Love Letter was popular a couple years back. I copied its verses into a spiral journal to read to my kids at bedtime. It is still a beautiful compilation of The Word from the Father to his children. Take some time today to watch, read or listen to it. You are loved.


The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17



How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 1:3



For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:14-16

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