“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” (Matthew 6:9)
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:” (John 1:12)
Talking to my earthly father is awkward at best. We don’t have a bad relationship, but we don’t have a very good relationship. I am trying to work on it, and I believe my father is too in his own way. It is just that our ‘ways’ are so completely different. It’s hard, and sometimes I get frustrated in sadness. I want our relationship to be so great. I want it to be like the relationship I hear my Pastor talk about having with his daughters. But it’s not. I am beginning to understand this yearning I feel for a wonderful relationship with my father is a fraction of the yearning my Heavenly Father must feel for me.
I am a pretty crappy daughter to my Heavenly Father. Again, His ways and my ways are completely different. He is holy and righteous and pure love … and I … well I rebel against Him, defy Him, and continually break His heart with my sin. I cringe with this truth as I sit pretty on the thought that I am a pretty good daughter to my earthly father. God hasn’t lied to me or about me. God hasn’t betrayed me. God has never hurt me. God has never given up on me. God always wants me around Him. I am sitting here typing this out and I am completely at a loss why I don’t show as much devotion to the LORD as I do for my father who has done all those things.
I know it is easier to have a ‘good’ relationship with a father I am passingly involved with. There is no real intimacy between my dad and me. I seek intimacy with God. As surreal as this sounds I actually think I know God better than my father; which isn’t saying a lot I know. So I would like to ‘comfort’ myself with the idea that this somehow excuses all my failures. It’s not true. I know that. I have a lot of sin when it comes to having God be Abba, Father. And just sitting here now writing this I have to shamefully admit I actually have a lot of sin when it comes to my earthly father as well.
As confusing and frustrating as this all sounds to me I can take true comfort in one fact. As a child of my father, and as a child of God, this will never change. I will always be the daughter of my father, and the daughter of my God. And, at least, in the relationship between Abba and myself He is perfect and not going to mess anything up. My dad and I are good at that in our relationship. I know I really need to try harder, and put more effort into our relationship. Into both my relationships. It is just so easy to be lazy with a dad who is equally lazy; and lazy with a Father who won’t ever leave, give up, or stop loving me. And I really hate that I have to admit that. But it is true.
“Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” (John 20:17)
“(16) And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’
(17) Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.’ (18) ‘I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.’” (2 Corinthians 6: 16-18)
Jesus is the only One who can redeem both of my relationships. For God could not receive me as I was: I was unclean. Through the blood of Christ I am made clean. Because of the blood of Christ I am a living temple that the Holy Spirit can live within. Thus Abba, Father will always draw me near. I can be separate from the world on my life journey of sanctification. Since Jesus has ascended I can cling to Him. I need to cling to Him. I need to bury myself so deep inside of Him so that I can do a better job of reflecting the glory of God. This is perfect hope for an imperfect sinner.
With my earthly father things aren’t so much like that. He will hurt me. I will hurt him. He will ignore me. I will ignore him. We will skirt around each other in a dance of acquaintances. I don’t want that. I don’t think he wants that. Jesus is the only way to get closer to my dad. Learning about Christ, how He related to God as His Father, will help mold me a path to follow to my dad. Learning to love and forgive like Christ can continue to change me into a new creation so that I can better love and forgive my father. I just can’t be lazy. I don’t want to be lazy. I really need to be in continually prayer for the Holy Spirit to take away this laziness.