This week at church we started a study on the Apostles Creed.
“I believe in God the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth an in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord.”
What kind of Father is God?
What kind of Father is God?
This was a tough topic for me to accept and make sense of. And from time to time, doubt will still creep in. But all in all, over the past year or so, I have come to the conclusion that the earthly fathers God placed in my life weren’t capable to give me exactly what I thought I needed. Maybe it was God’s beginning of His work in me to let me know I only needed Him. He alone could more than fill that empty void that sadness, that… unexplainable gut wrenching anger I held for both dads that I “had.” Couldn’t God see my pain? My fear? My need to be loved? Didn’t he know the hurt that had been inflicted by on me by one and the abandonment of the other? Why did He want me to be so sad?
DIDN’T HE LOVE ME?
I spent a lot of time lost as a teen. Making choices that could never be erased. I protested going to church with my mom, and as I got older (late teen & early twenties) I declared that the Catholic Church was “stupid, anti-woman, and cruel.” But, never the less, despite my dislike of the church I still had my daughters baptized in the Catholic church, you know, just in case…
Then came the years of ignorance…
IGNOR(E)ance. I simply pretended I didn’t really need God; I was strong and He’d already proven that He didn’t need me; or even know of my existence. I could live my life as I chose with no worry of sin, repentance, or care. I felt like I was above all that and I knew a better way (MY WAY).
My immature teenage anger had turned to serious know everything, mid-twenties mother of two rage. I had let hate take hold in my heart for both fathers; even more, I wondered why God was absent from me. Couldn’t He see my mess? Why did he let things get so hard for me?
DIDN’T HE CARE ABOUT ME?I tried conventional pop culture methods to deal with my problems. I was a slave to the self help section of Barns and Noble. The most reasonable option seemed to confront them. I did, I told them of my anger, of how much they hurt me, and how all of this was their fault. I never looked within to see the part that I played in the destruction of the relationships. And, in my anger, I missed time together with my siblings and gave up moving forward with my life.
It was only when I finally dropped down and surrendered my anger to the One who created me that God began to give me peace. I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, see that I was not alone, and that I really hadn’t ever been alone.
He kept me from really falling over the edge in my teenage angst. He kept the abuse from going too far; He kept a small amount of contact between my biological father and me. He gave me Casey, and Alex, and Natalie. And, most of all, He awoke my heart to His abiding love!
So, today as I reflect on God as my Father, I wanted to understand what His word tells me to believe.
God spoke to us in Isaiah saying,
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, EVERLASTING FATHER, Prince of Peace” Isaiah 9:6 (personal emphasis added)
Matthew 6:9 while teaching us how to pray says, “Our Father in heaven”.
He is above us, looking down, caring for us; lighting our path and guiding our ways when we choose to follow. But the choice is ours to make. As any good father would show us the way, but allows us to decide and guides us back when we veer off in the wrong direction.
I find great comfort in this verse……
“I will be a father to you and you will be my sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty” 2 Corinthians 6:18What a wonderful declaration of love from our heavenly Father! I AM HIS!
And a more difficult verse to swallow for me is……………..
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? Hebrews 12:7
Discipline is such a “bad” word in our society today. We don’t want to be held accountable for any wrong doing on our part even if it was an accident. We make excuses and justify our actions to suit our own desires. But the thing is, we are all like toddlers. We want to do it ourselves and throw temper tantrums when things don’t go our way. We never want to truly admit that we are wrong. We are so lucky to have a Father who is willing to discipline us when we go astray. He is our shepherd and we are His sheep.
I think that on some level I will always want my earthly fathers to be something or someone they are not. But I have learned to accept them for who they are and how God made them. I have come to learn that my Heavenly Father can fill me more than ANY person ever could, and that is ENOUGH!
My Father makes all things possible (Luke 1:37) and I can do all things through Him who give me strength (Philippians 4:13)
My Father is creative. He has given my life twists and turns to navigate. He has brought all sorts of people throughout my life to challenge and encourage me.
My Father is consistent. This was the hardest at time to see, again with my earthly fathers in mind. I am reminded in James 1:17, “every good and perfect gift is from the Father who does no change like shifting shadows.” God does not make promises and not keep them. He does what He says He can do!
Casey and I have been blessed with such abundance, I can sometimes hardly believe where we are and that God has trusted us with so much. That is easy for me to see and appreciate. But consistent is hard to accept. ALL people are inconsistent. It’s so easy to have energy and excitement at the beginning of a project but once the sparkle begins to dull laziness can set in. God never grows weary. He is always strong and patient and kind.
Above all my Father is caring. He knows me. He made me in His image. He says that I am beautifully and wonderfully made.
“As a Father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who honor him” Psalm 103:13
HE MADE ME TO WORSHIP HIM!
HE IS MY FATHER!