Vengence, lightning bolts, and disappointment. Maybe we feel this way about God because we feel this way about ourselves? With our attitude, if we were to act as God, cleaning the slate of humanity would be the most logical option. We would probably start with ourselves. Why put up with all the drama? None the less, in each heart is a modern “Golden Calf”. An image of God that is not quite accurate.
The image of God has managed to elude even the greatest societies. Even in Jesus’ day, with God walking amongst us, we missed the human face of God. For the Father to send His Son, was for Him, the ultimate invitation to humanity, an invitation to the Divine family. An invitation that many still have not accepted. All of our rhetoric on love and grace seems to have only stimulated an appetite for what we really crave, yet we are all the more unfulfilled.
Even for the most progressive believer, who has accepted the power of grace, still struggles with a nagging inward thought that God is not pleased with them. In fact most progressives seem to suffer from an insatiable appetite for grace, maybe because they long to make sense of their past and their pain. Maybe it is because we are so aware of our weakness and failure? Whatever it is, it is not healthy, nor is it the plan of our Loving Father. To be more intimate with my faults, and the faults of others, than I am with God, shows that the grace I claim has not yet fully claimed me.
While hanging out with my little girl, I was overwhelmed at the amount of care and emotion that I had for her. In her innocence she was unaware of her faults, failures, and short comings, it was then I realized, so was I. The thought completely leveled me, “If I, a fallen human, can feel this way about my daughter, then how much more can God feel this way about me?” A tear escaped my plank filled eye. Her laughter, her smile, and the way she looked at me made me realize that she felt complete. A feeling that I have little experience with. The moment was overwhelming.
Maybe the only way that God could relay to us who He is as Father was to allow us to participate in the same title. The small grasp that I have on the Father has only come through my being one myself. And though my grip is not as tight as I want it to be on the subject, I have been full wrecked by the amount He has allowed me to hold.
When I begin to define God by my life, it becomes easy to create a tyrannical dictator who wants perfection more than He wants love. We were never meant to interpret the idea of God by our pasts, pains, and victories, we were meant to define Him by His Son, who came from a dimension that was foreign to ours. Jesus defined us by His dimension, we do not get to define Him by ours. We can only use small portions of it to lead us to an undescribable event that often leaves us on the floor blubbering like a child before a loving Father. Jesus did not come here to bless our dimensional idea of Him. He came to open our eyes to the world of a Father, whose love for humanity broke past the barriers of religion, pain, rejection, and sorrow. This God was “crazy” enough to love me with such ferocity that it over shadowed my weakness and provided a inheritance through the cross of Jesus Christ, a cross that would purchase for me the inheritance of the kingdom of God. All this for a sinner and an enemy.
At times I am so tender and patient with my kids that it amazes even me. I catch glimpses of God in my own actions, and it breaks my core. The hard part is really believing that He feels the same way about me. But how can I be more good than God? If I treat my own children this way, as a fallen man, will God treat His worse?
The foundation for humility is knowing who we are. To know that I am a son of God creates a strong sense of contrition. But before I can know that I am a son, I must realize that at one point I was, or am, a rebellious orphan. To know who I am means to also know that I am chosen. No longer last in line, I now possess the heart of God, the heart of restoration. True humility is in no danger of pride. Knowing who we are in Christ is a true beginning to knowing the Father. How can we know God as Father if we do not know ourselves as sons?
My daughter is just like me. I catch myself staring at her at times and remember myself. She thinks like me, acts like me, and looks like me. But when I see her respond to her environment, I notice that she responds a bit differently than I did. Maybe it is because she has a father. Maybe it is because she doesn’t doubt who she is, and who she is, is defined by paternal order.
I love my dad, but he left us when I was young. I never realized the value of son-ship because I never felt like one, therefore it was difficult for me to relate to a Father. I didn’t want my little girl to go through what I went through, so I decided to be the best father I could, by the grace of God. Through her I see what I should have been. But through me regarding her, I see what I have become in God. I see glimpses of the Father.
Healing is complete when love is fully possessed. Every hurt, every pain, every failure and disappointment comes from a love deficit. Jesus endured far more than we ever will, and never once did He respond the way we do. There was no unforgivness, not a shred of bitterness, and not even the smallest ounce of blame. Maybe it was because He knew the Father? Maybe we need to know Him also? After all, what good does it do to worship a Being our whole lives whom we never knew?
An open eye into the window of your life, and the moments where you are tender and in awe at your own children, just might be what you need to see to know how God really feels about you. I find that when I am brave enough to grab ahold of moments like these that I am radically changed, far more so than any church service could ever offer. These are special moments, moments between only my Father and I. The Pastor isn’t there, neither are the deacons and elders, just me, the Spirit of Adoption, and my Eternal Daddy. This is operating room of God, where He cuts off the cancers of religion, unbelief, and the warped perceptions of God that grow out of earthly hurts and pains. This is where I am made whole. It is where I encounter the Great Physician, Instructor, Provider, and Lover of my soul, who I proudly call, My Father.
God is a great many things to us. But none surpass the title that He has allowed us to use to address Him in prayer and in life. Our Father….