"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Abba, Father

Scripture to reflect upon for Manic Monday: Mark 14:36
“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you…”

It has become incredibly clear that my lack of trust in God as my Father is based solely on the flaws of so many earthly fathers.

Abba was a term of endearment towards fathers. It’s the equivalent of calling your father, Papa, or Daddy.  Those are words most used by small, trusting children. As we get older, we lose a lot of faith in our natural fathers and drop the terms of endearment for bigger, bolder names like Dad or Father. Those, to me, are strict nicknames. They allow no feelings of thoughtfulness or affection. Those words reflect a respectful way of expressing a lack of respect. It’s similar to when your mother used your full name when you were in trouble and she was angry with you.

My natural father plays favorites with his youngest daughter. He’s never kept it a secret, but always denies it when he’s confronted on the issue. My father makes numerous trips to Michigan to see her, and very rarely makes an effort to see me in Wisconsin. In fact, when he flies in to see her and has a layover in Chicago, he believes he’s being fully fair in asking me to spend time with him during his layover at the airport! I would get possibly an hour to spend with him, while she gets a full week and doesn’t need to go out of her way because he is going to her.

Many—many, many—women have “daddy issues.” Most of these women were abandoned by their fathers at an early age as a victim of divorce. These women then try to search endlessly for father-figures in abusive and unstable relationships with men. God said he will adopt the fatherless children, and He keeps that promise. The problem is that we don’t trust Him because of our earthly experiences with Abba, Daddy, or Papa are not a happy ones. Our natural fathers let us down, and if God is our Father, how then, can we trust someone we can’t even see?

I believe a lot of men are going to stand before God and be punished greatly for how they have neglected their children and deserted their families. I also believe that those of us who have been victims of these kinds of men will be forgiven accordingly, too. Jesus said, “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin!” (Matthew 18:6-7).

I wish that today’s blog would be an expression of my own revelation of how God is different from my natural father, but the truth remains that I’m still trying to figure that out. These rides are sometimes bumpy and full of detours, but that’s the reality of life. Our Christian walk is to be hopeful, but that doesn’t always mean it’s going to be easy, especially when we get smacked with our own faults that hinder us from moving forward.

I do know this: God wants to be our Father because He knows how flawed our earthly fathers are. God had a very specific idea of what a father is meant to be do and be, and when our biological fathers reject those requirements, God says, “Let me…”

NOTE TO SELF: Make a list of ways that God is your Abba, Father, and how He is different from your earthly father. Like the innocence of children, call on Abba to comfort you, heal you, and renew your strength.  

Abba, Father, I ask You today to reveal Yourself in a mighty way in my life! Teach me how to trust You. Help me to know You as the Father You had hoped I would have as a child. Give me the knowledge to understand that You will not forsake me, and that You will always be by my side and never leave me for someone else, because You do not have favorites, God. I do not need to be jealous of anyone else, nor do I need to feel rejected by You. I can believe and trust in You to always reveal Your favor because You love me…more than I think.

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