And He said, “Abba, Father,
all things are possible for You.
Take this cup away from Me;
nevertheless, not what I will,
but what You will.”
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage
again to fear, but you received
the Spirit of adoption
by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
Abba my Father is far more than a term or endearment. It carries with it a bigger sense of our close relationship with God the procreator, the one who has created and brought all things into being. It also carries with it a reminder of our covenant relationship in Gods family. I liked this explanation I found in a commentaries I was reading from the Christian Leadership Center. "To call God "Father" is to affirm that we have been born into the family of God, that we are joint heirs with Christ, that we belong to him forever and will dwell with him. But he is still the sovereign and holy Lord God; and the significance of the word "Father" is one of a reverent, respectful and solemn adult address of God."
My dad and his wife thought I needed a break and invited just me out for some vacation time with them. It was a wonderful time we visited museums and my dad helped me with my piano playing and listened as I struggled to play the pieces I was working on for an up coming recital. It really is not a big surprise for me that I feel very close to God the father when I am sitting and singing songs on my guitar, and as my skill increases also when playing piano, or when singing hymns or songs in church.
On the flip side I have had to work through much of my own independence. My parent divorced when I was very young. As a result I developed a bit of a protective skin or at times more like a thick brick walled castle to protect myself from being hurt by people who might later abandon me. I eventually found it to be a very lonely place and have worked hard to take down the walls and to be vulnerable realizing that the joys of sharing in relationships out weigh the pain of loosing those relationships or being disappointed by them in some way. Its not that my father ever stopped loving me, he was just thousands of miles away and our time together became the stuff of vacations not daily life. So as a result I have had to work to allow God the father to be part of my daily life and not just the God of mountain top retreats and spiritual vacations.
I suppose part of my journey to be open, honest and vulnerable with people has been developing my ability to see where Jesus is alive and living in them. I am still at times disappointed by people and in those times I have tried to remember how much Jesus has forgiven me. To realize that we all are very broken, and often respond and react based on old buttons and behaviors that may or may not have anything to do with the current situation.
If you are just joining me, I am writing through the alphabet this month as part of the Blogging A - Z challenge. There are a number of A topics I could have written about but I found myself in a place of thankfulness for my relationship with my earthly father and for the wonderful relationship I have with my heavenly father.
My point for today is that that I have found it helpful to look at both the good and the bad of my relationship with my earthly father and to see how those things have impacted my relationship with God the Father. Look at the things that you may need to forgive and to overcome as well as the things that you have to be thankful for. For those of you that this is a big struggle filled with more painful memories than good, I want to remind you of Psalm 27:10
"Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me." Sometimes we just need to start fresh, to realize that there are things about a healthy relationship between father and child that we just don't understand. I have heard people say that they can understand and love Jesus but God the Father is viewed as one who would judge and punish. I would remind you that it is the great love of God that sent Jesus to make a way for our broken relationship with the Father to be restored. Everyone knows John 3:16 but John 3:17 goes on to say "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."
Abba Father, I pray that you would help all of us to know you more fully. That you would help us to get beyond the brokenness of our earthly parental experience and to know you in a deeper and more trusting way. Help us to walk in our wonderful covenant relationship with you and to be able to see all that is ours through our adoption into your amazing family.