Posts Tagged ‘father’

It seems like I am all about some bittersweet moments lately. I don’t know if that is a sign of a softer heart for me, or just more of an awareness of my own messy heart.

It is bittersweet when I find myself in those times where the same bible story seems to be every where I go, and in every other sermon. It always takes about three times before I stop and wonder why I am hearing something on repeat. That particular topic seems to creep into conversations out of no where. Now I am just at the point of chuckling.

Right now I have a top three-topic list going on right now. Among those three is the topic of God as father.

I have been camped out in John for a while. In John chapter five, Jesus has just finished healing a man on the Sabbath. Leaders in the Jewish community were not happy with what Jesus was doing. Jesus stuns this Jewish group by referring to God as his father. The Jews were outraged by the fact that Jesus would claim to be God’s son. They were also mad because Jesus was considering himself equal to the father.

Every time I have read this passage, I have just glazed over these words. Not this time. I can’t shake the fact that I think Jesus was redefining yet another relationship aspect with God. Jesus was modeling an intimate label with God. Not only that, I think Jesus was telling us that it is okay for us to call God, father. God calls us his children.

This is a bittersweet statement for me. I am so thankful for a God who wants to be known by me as father, but I have no idea what the word father really means. I don’t have good associations at all with the word “father.” This statement from Jesus feels overwhelming to me. I desire to know God the way Jesus describes him to be, but this is a relationship I just do not get. My heart feels the weight of my loss

In the past there have been great glimpses of “father figures” for me. To be honest, at times, I get so ticked that I even had to have “father figures” in my life. It reminds of the loss of a father who should have been, well a lot of things. Nonetheless,  I have been blessed with great male mentors, counselors, and second homes. These are just glimpses. I still mourn the loss of knowing what father really means. I mourn understanding healthy intimacy from my father. I hate that.

I know God as provider, gracious, forgiver, savior, perfect love, leader, powerful, beautiful, and faithful. Father will always be a hard one for me.

My prayer has been for him to open my eyes to that side of who he is. I am praying for God to show himself as father to me.

How do you know God as father?


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One of my close friends got married a couple of years ago. Like most brides, she had a ton of things piled on top of wedding planning. Not only was she getting married, but of course she was moving. I mean moving and marriage go together, right? In the midst of the craziness of getting ready for the wedding day, moving came down to the wire, as in after the rehearsal dinner.

Moving is just hard and annoying. I don’t know anyone who likes it.

A bunch of our friends rallied around my friend and went to it. It was like a well oiled machine! Things piled into boxes all labeled “miscellaneous.” We lined up our cars, and like tetras, boxes were loaded up.

It is so much easier to move with help. It is so much easier to do anything when other people come along side us. It’s definitely more fun that way for me!

Jesus knew this truth more than anyone. In John chapter five, Jesus explains this truth to a group of Jewish people. Jesus was being reamed out for healing a man on the Sabbath. He then looked at the men and very plainly explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

Jesus’ answer leaves me with two questions. The first question is: what is the father doing?

My intial response to that question is that I don’t even know what I’m doing let alone what the father is doing! The truth is that the only way to know what he is doing is through intimacy. As I thought about it, I could tell you what my close friends are up to, as well as, what is on their hearts. This is only because I know them. The same is true for the father.

The only way to recognize his heart is to know his heart.

The entire bible is filled with what God is doing. All of scripture speaks to his heart and character.

The second questions is: How do we come along side what he is doing?

This is where it can get tricky. Jesus didn’t just see what the father was doing, or hear what he was saying, and then go off on his own. Jesus did everything WITH the father. I know my tendency can be to see/hear what the father is doing and then say, “thanks! I got it from here.” Then I wonder why I failed and feel completely exhausted.

God uses everyone uniquely according to how he has wired you. Jesus stated that the “father shows the son what he is doing because he loves the son.” God shows us who he is, and what he is about, because he loves us. Deep levels of intimacy come from deep levels of knowing.

Everyone is different. For me, I see what the father is doing by listening. Everyone has something to say, and I tend to gravitate towards what is not being said. I am a between the lines listener. People tell the stories they tell on purpose. There is always a reason for every story. It is in those reasons, nonverbal words, and masked thoughts that I see/hear what the father is doing.

Coming along side the father looks like encouragement, challenging, speaking truth, empowering, motivating, showing campassion, sitting silently, praying, and loving the other person.

My father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.”

What is the father doing?

How can you come along side him?

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