For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Rom. 8:15 NASB)
From my 2011 Journal. For a long time I’ve tried to figure out my picture of God the Father. And all I could get was seeing Him sitting on a giant throne, stern and stiff and still, sort of like Abe Lincoln’s marble statue in Washington. And seeing Him on the throne is all well and good, but that doesn’t show me the “Papa/Abba” side of Him. Sitting on the throne is His job—King, Ruler, Sovereign Judge over the Universe.
We’re often told that our view of God looks a lot like our view of our earthly father. I adored and respected and admired my dad, but we never had a close, intimate, soul-to-soul relationship. I always felt safe and protected, and he taught me a lot, but it was never the warm and fuzzy sort of nurturing feelings. He just didn’t “get” little kids. Okay, so maybe there’s an element of truth there about my view of God the Father.
As I prayed this morning, I asked God for a new picture—one that demonstrates His love for me. And this is what I saw: I’m snuggled under the covers, ready for bed, and God the Father is sitting beside me, bedtime story in hand, answering my most puzzling life questions that arise at the end of the day when all is quiet and still. There’s deep love in His eyes. His kiss on my cheek is gentle. His hands tucking me in are careful and kind, but most of all, full of love for me, His child. I’m safe and warm, no fear, no worries or needs. He’s taking care of me. He loves me. That’s Who my Papa is. By day? King of the Universe. At night? The reader of stories, the delight of my day and night. Thank You, Abba, that I’m your child.
What does Father look like to you?
If I were to be completely honest, I would have to admit my picture of father would be absent…but that’s my earthly father. I’ve had only a short time with a “father” figure in my life which turned out to be my grandfather. He died when I was 9, but he was loving and I am told I was the apple of his eye. If I mother were to come to their house without me, “Where’s Linda?” would be the first greeting from him…not hello, good to see you. Those who knew James Collins could never get over how crazy he was about me. I keep that memory of him close to my heart.
I would like to say that God the Father is always looking to see if I am around and noticing me. In fact, I am now reading a book called just that: “Holy Noticing” to sharpen my skills in being more aware of what’s around me as I would think our Father is keenly aware of all our actions. We’re still in the growing stage of our maturity even if some of us are 70 plus years old.
Thank you, Karen, for always bringing up a topic that resonates and provokes thought.
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Also really like this one, Karen! With love and prayers, Esther
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Karen, this speaks to my heart as my experience with my earthly father was similar. I need to use my imagination in a healthy way, to picture God as a loving father, similar to you picture of tucking-in-at-night!