Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our Father Who Art in Heaven

So as my previous post mentioned, I have just returned from a vacation and will be off shortly. But, I'd like to blog about what's been on my heart and mind lately. In addition to listening to the song Fingerprints by Steven Curtis Chapman, I have also been mesmerized by his new song Cinderella. It was written in memory of his daughter Maria who died last year in a devastating car accident. The song is so sweet; it discusses the relationship between a father and his daughter and how he must cherish the moments he has with her before she leaves.

The relationship between a father and daughter is a very special one and sadly many people miss out on it. Those who do have that close tell-all bond with their dads are truly blessed. But it made me realize that, as Christians, we have this relationship no matter how connected we are with our earthly fathers; we have another Father. One who is much more dear and much more important. And we are far more blessed than those who have the bond with their dad, but not Adonai. We are a people unlike any other because our God is our Father.

This never really crossed my mind. No matter how many times I recited the Our Father, I never grasped how wonderful this relationship is. The Bible is so unique in this aspect because God stresses his role as a Father and not so much as a distant entity. Through the messiah we are brought into this intense intimacy that no other religion can grasp. Many of us take this gift for granted. Relationships matter and they especially will on the Day of Judgment. Those of other faiths will face God as a judge (as their faith teaches). A stranger. One with no real sympathy for you. How could He if you have no relation? He'll view you as a lawbreaker and a sinner and what would be more fitting than to lock you away. For a Christian, we will be judged, but not by a stranger. By our Father.

Just think of that. It's like if you were in court for a list of heavy crimes and you could choose the person to sentence/fine you. The toughest judge in the country or your own father. Who wouldn't want their dad to oversee the case? While there will be disappointment and chastisement, we will be forgiven and we will be set free, not because we deserve it, but because it's our Father behind the gavel. Relationships are such a vital part of human life; it's the vein of our existence because it's what links us all to each other, to our history, to our failures and successes. What better than to realize you have one with the Creator of the Universe. Not only that: He WANTS it. We don't have to beg for a sliver of his love and mercy. He seeks US and basically begs US to let him give it to us. And most of us have REFUSED!

I know it's hard for those outside Christianity to understand. They think it's crazy and blasphemous to think we humans could call the Creator "Father". How dare we. But I think that's the guilt we feel as sinners. We don't deserve this amazing and awesome gift God has set before our feet, so we push it away. We try and show how it cannot be possible for God to desire such intimacy and consequently we push Him farther and farther away until He becomes a stranger to us.

As I grow older, I face more and more ugly and chaotic situations. Without the comfort and peace I receive from God I would have lost my mind by now; and I am still so young! I can still enjoy that peace only a child has. The one where fear hardly ever crosses your mind and when it does, you have a parent there to take it all away. God is that for me, and can be for you. He's the ultimate Father, the one I can go to with any question, no matter how embarrassing. Like a child, I can access him at any time, and when the path gets dark and narrow, I have his hand to guide me through. Even as adults, we are just helpless children that need our Father to comfort us, protect us, punish us, forgive us, and most importantly Love us.

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from anguish,
sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints,
so I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life
there has only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The years when you have seen only one set of footprints,
my child, is when I carried you.”

Mary Stevenson

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