Do you know my Father?

It's Father's Day... a day when we honor our earthly fathers, grandfathers, husbands... and men fist bump and say to each other 'Happy Father's Day'... or simply nod with understanding.  I am incredibly blessed to have a Dad who loves me, loves God and has given me a heritage of seeking to please God with my life.  I am eternally grateful for God's blessing of such a father.   I am also blessed to have married a man who has been a fantastic dad to our two sons, a godly example and an incredible teacher in spiritual things. But today, I'm thinking of Father's Day on a deeper level... because I am a child of the King of the Universe... He is my Father above all fathers, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Recently, I was asked to play for a women's Summer Connection event at my church... and I accepted the invitation with enthusiasm.  Before that point, I didn't even have this event on my radar, but when I arrived and stayed through the entire evening, I found that they were starting the women's Bible study called 'Experiencing God' by Henry Blackaby.  Being in that environment that night, I decided this was something I wanted to take on for my own study.  God clearly led me to that place so I would be aware of it... just think of what I might have missed!  It reminded me that God leads us always, and it is up to us (when we are His children), and our free will (that He gave us at creation) to follow and obey His voice. 

The idea of the study is to truly experience God through the relationship that He has intended for us to have with Him... it is so very humbling... and it has nothing to do with what I am able to do for Him.  It has everything to do with my willing heart and the quality of the relationship I have with Him.  When God called Moses, Moses didn't know or believe that he was able to do that which God asked him to do.  Truth be told, Moses wasn't capable of it...alone... but when he was questioning God, it indicated that he didn't even believe that God was capable of making it happen.  Eventually, Moses got his faith right... sometime between his calling at the burning bush and the account in Hebrews 11, when the author recounts that God allowed Moses to see that which was invisible... and when He talked to Moses, it was as a man talks to his friend.  That's pretty amazing... and it makes me want that kind of relationship with God.  But I am also learning this: When God asks me to do something, He is simultaneously promising that He is able to accomplish it through me!  John 15:5 says, 'I am the vine, and you are the branches.  If any man remain in me, and I in him, he will bear much fruit. Apart from me you can do nothing.'  We are created for relationship with the God of the Universe, and Jesus is the Way to that relationship.  You have not done anything so bad that God cannot rescue you. He created you, you have a purpose, and He wants a relationship with you.

Here is the tricky part... at least from a human perspective. A loving Father who knows me deeply, cares for me, and wants me to be victorious in my life will not necessarily keep me from pain or danger, but He always promises to be with me and walk with me through it.  David said, 'Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me.  Your rod and staff comfort me.'  Normally, a rod and staff indicate discipline or correction for a sheep that has gotten off track.  And the loving shepherd who counted his 100 sheep only to find 99 tirelessly looked for the one until He found it.  We are prone to wander... but God pursues us and brings us back with relentless consistency.  Remember in 'Finding Nemo', Marlin (the father) tells Dory (the forgetful blue fish) that he had promised Nemo (his son) that he would never let anything happen to him.  Dory, in her shining moment of wisdom, replies, 'You can't promise him that nothing will ever happen to him, because then, nothing will ever happen to him.' 

God gives us each other so we can catch a glimpse of Him through other people too, and so that we can understand what relationships are about. The ideal is for those relationships to  be a picture of unconditional love so we can begin to grasp God's love. Sometimes there are relationships that are painful and do not point to the perfect love of God at all... and if that is your story, God can heal the broken places and restore your hope if you allow Him to. We are imperfect people, and we make mistakes.  I pray every day that God will fill the gaps in my own marriage, parenting, and friendships, because I am a fallible human.  The only good that I can do is because God invented love and invited me to participate in it.  Psalm 147:3-4 blows my mind. 'He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.' Wow. The same God that created the stars and named them all is the one who heals my heart. He sees me fall and skin my knee. He sees me get up again and fall again. And every time, He is faithful to heal the deepest places of my heart so that I am capable of getting up again, and ultimately fulfilling my purpose for life and eternity.  And He will do the same for anyone who will call upon His name and make Him Lord.

Do you know my Father?

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