Thursday, October 25, 2012

My "Dad"

I love the view of God as my Father.  I was blessed with a wonderful earthly Dad who would gather me on his knee, hear what I had to say and help at any cost.  That has helped me appreciate my Heavenly Father over the years.  When I became a parent myself, that added a new dimension to how I viewed more difficult things like discipline.  This past few weeks, though, the Lord has been painting a new picture for me that is renewing in me a childlike faith. 

Picture your child, running in the door and you can tell by one look at their face that something is wrong.  Immediately, a parent's heart is stirred with compassion.  You ask what is wrong and you give your child your full attention as they explain - as best they can - what has transpired.  It doesn't really matter what the scenario is, there are really only three ways we respond.  We either help them see from a more accurate perspective, we tell them how to deal with the situation and give them everything they need to do that, or the "mama bear" wells up in us so fast and we assure our child that they can just step aside and we'll handle it!

Why do I not automatically rest in that same parental concern in my Heavenly Father?  When I start to look at each trying circumstance of my life from that perspective, a new childlike faith emerges.

When the situations I face get me down, God knows.  He can tell by one look at my face!  Actually, He can tell by one look at my heart and my mind.  Psalm 139:1-2 says, O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.  You know when I sit down or stand up.  You know my thoughts even when I’m far away (New Living Translation).  God knows!  He sees me and He sees the big picture.  When I come to Him with my every concern and allow Him to gather me up on His knee, sometimes I merely need Him to give me a new perspective.  How often do we see the situations we face with such a limited understanding?  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight (New International Version).  In ways which transcend all understanding, He gives me peace.  (see Philippians 4:6-7

Sometimes, I find God gives me clear advice as to what I should do and then He follows it up by giving me every resource that I need to follow through.  Psalm 32:7-8 tells us, For You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble.  You surround me with songs of victory... The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you (New Living Translation).

The other option is that our Heavenly Father tells us to step aside and let Him handle it!  Isaiah 49:25 gives us full assurance of that!  For thus says the Lord:  “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you... (English Standard Version).  King Jehoshaphat received just such an answer from the LORD in 2 Chronicles 20:15 & 17!  He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s...You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” (New International Version 1984). (to read the complete story: Chronicles+20&version=NIV1984)

So you see, if we as fallible parents, would be moved with compassion for our child... If we would give them a better understanding of the situation or advise them how to handle it under our mindful eye... Or if we would be so stirred up with indignation that we would say to ourselves "you just messed with the wrong child" and gently tell your offspring to "stand aside!  Momma's gonna handle this!" how much more our Heavenly Father who loves us more than we could ever fathom?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for this new picture of how I can trust You to handle anything and everything that comes at me!  Help me to remember how quickly that mamma bear instinct wells up in me and remember that it originates in You.  Help me to recognize how desperately my arms ache to hold my own children and soothe away their hurts - even when they brought them on themselves.  Help me to be quick to scramble up on Your knee and talk things out with You and then listen to hear You tell me how we're going to handle things because NO ONE messes with my "Dad"!  Amen.

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