We had a crazy weekend with the daughter. As a parent, I know there are hills and valleys. You just pray that the hills are not complete upward spikes but are gradually rising mountain ranges that will last at least one week or one big family event.
But then you have valleys. And we aren’t talking about “bad days”, we’re talking about complete meltdown-regress-18-months-in-age kind of periods. We don’t have many of those but we had a weekend of them this weekend. Things have returned to normal now, and our original child has returned. Thanks for your concern.
It made me think, however, about the fact that the Scriptures call God “Father.” I know that this word in the Bible has several meanings:
-the source : the person from which the whole family comes from, the patriarch, the one we’re all made to look and act like
-the parent : the one who knows the best for his kids and is entrusted to compassionately and firmly direct them in the way they should live
I realize that seeing God as parent is tough if our parents were harsh, absent, or abusive but the Bible doesn’t flinch from showing Jesus in a full and nearly fetal approach to God in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. (Mark 14:36)
Even Jesus, in this moment, melts down and questions His father. His Abba - a loving Father.
Some years ago I heard a message by Donald Miller at Mars Hill/Grand Rapids that was called “God is Fathering Us” and the title has stuck with me. (Sorry Don - remembering the title but the content isn't right on the tip of the tongue!)
What does it mean to be parented by God? To take direction, instruction, and correction from Him?
Could a well-developed view of God as Father be a key for us in growing to trust Him? Could believing in God as our Father help us to redeem and forgive our earthly fathers?
Jesus ends this meltdown with “Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:37)
Do we trust our Father when we don’t quite understand His parenting? When we feel we’ve cut the best path and He ask us to take a different one?
Do we trust God enough to let Him “Father” us?
Coming up: The first post in my series “The Myth of Community”! Stay tuned!