Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A Good Father?

Do you believe God is a good father? It is easy to answer yes because I know that is supposed to be the “right” answer, but I am afraid my life tells another story. Too often I believe that God is opposed to my happiness.

John Eldredge wrote:
“You are the son of a kind, strong, and engaged Father, a Father wise enough to guide you in the Way, generous enough to provide for your journey, offering to walk with you every step.

“This is perhaps the hardest thing for us to believe—really believe, down deep in our hearts, so that it changes us forever, changes the way we approach each day.” (The Way of the Wild Heart, pp. 22-23)

I know that I struggle with believing that God wants what is best for my life. So often I don’t recognize God being engaged in my life, rather it seems that He is detached and uncaring about what happens to me. The result of this type of thinking has been that now I believe I have to create a happy life for myself, it is all up to me.

How do we trust God to do the right thing? How can we come to see God as our loving heavenly Father?

Let me share with you a couple of thoughts I have had as I pondered these questions:

1. Memorize Scripture that focuses on God as our Father. It is amazing how often Jesus referred to God as Father, or our Father. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is because Jesus knew how we struggled with the concept of God being our loving heavenly Father. One of the passages that keeps coming to mind for me is Luke 11:11-13:
11 “What father among you, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (NET)

We need constant reminders that God is our loving heavenly Father. Scripture is one of the best sources of those reminders.

2. Reflect on the blessing in our lives. I take so much of what God has done in my life for granted. He has blessed me in a number of different ways, but when He doesn’t do what I want Him to do then I immediately call into question His goodness and sometimes His existence. What is that about!? A good exercise for us, as Followers of Jesus Christ, is to take time and “Count our Blessings”. We need to reflect and remember how God has worked in our lives and how He continues to bless us. I think another important truth for us to remember is that the greatest blessing God has for us is not found in this life, but in the life to come. In this life He is preparing us for the great blessing He has in store for us in heaven. Some times this preparation will require God taking way my dreams for this life so I can be open to His desire for my life.

May we come to trust God as our heavenly Father. After all, if we can’t trust God who can we trust?

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