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Archive for February, 2017

The Father’s Heart

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Yesterday, I was enjoying life when all the sudden (you know how this happens) someone said something to cause me to question what I’m doing with my life.. and it nearly sent me back into a quarter-life crisis. Until the grace of God and all I’ve been learning kicked in.

I don’t know about you, but I can tend to spend more time thinking about what I may be doing wrong in life, or what I could be doing better, than thanking God and enjoying who I am and what my life looks like today – or in other words, seeing things through His eyes.

And how does He see things? That is the greatest question we could ever ask..

I have cried many tears in learning what the answer is. It has both been a very wonderful, and very painful experience.. painful in confronting how long I’ve lived outside of the knowledge and experience of God’s heart and love for me, yet wonderful to be discovering it.

Beyond Christianity 101, which is that Jesus would die to save us from our sins, is the infinite wonder that Jesus would die to bring us not only to Himself, but to His Father.. to invite us into His own personal relationship with the Father, that now we may call God our Abba (or our Papa) and hear Him call us His own beloved children, ‘with whom He is well pleased.’

Through Jesus we actually become the well beloved one in whom the Father greatly delights, feels proud of, believes in, adores.. like new parents do. Think of how deeply they fall in love with their newly born child.. without that child having to say a word or do a thing, but cry.

That is what happens when we are born again. Spiritually, we are the most precious infant imaginable, and the Father falls deeply in love with us. He sings, He dances, He cries.. and so do we, ‘our spirit cries Abba, Father..’ day and night, night and day.

In the last couple years I have often wondered how in life I can be such an independent adult going from work to church to getting groceries to friends houses, etc, and yet deep down, underneath all that I can do for myself, is something I most want and can do nothing about on my own.. it’s this cry.. It’s the cry I remember feeling since I was young, wondering what was wrong with me and why everyone else seemed so satisfied with their lives. Well maybe I also seem satisfied with mine on the outside, but life can feel beautiful or miserable depending on how I’m doing inside, and it always seems to come back to this cry.
And the Father is always hearing this cry, and responding whether or not we are aware of it. But when we are aware of it, we realize His love was always more than enough for us, and too wonderful.. beyond words, so beautiful that every dream and desire we ever felt makes perfect sense, and every grief and fear we ever suffered is put to rest, and we learn how to hope and trust again.

But how do we become aware of His love, His presence, His response like this? I’m sure a book could be written, and one day I hope I will write it, but some of what I am learning..

It’s usually less that means more.. just sitting in a quiet place, eyes closed, breathing.. “Abba, I belong to you.. I am yours.. you made me.. you cherish me.. you delight in me..” and maybe you won’t even get that far because you are so overwhelmed that God, in all of His wonder and goodness and glory and splendor, could be yours, and you could be His.. you can be 🙂

There is so much more that could be written, both on the ways of this communion and the woes of our doubts and fears in the process, but this note is just to start the conversation.

Aside from quiet times, I consider my life and how it might reflect His loving intervention. As an example, I thought by now I’d be in graduate school getting a degree in counseling, and instead I am teaching music & dance and arts & crafts to a precious class of kindergarteners. But right now, though I have gifts and skills beyond my current position, this is where I most find Him. He’s teaching me how to be a child with Him again, in the sweetest, freest way that allows me to enjoy my gifts in art and music and storytelling, without any pressure at all. I also enjoy these children on a daily basis, a sweet reminder of how my Father is enjoying me.

And yes, my accomplishments are important, but there is something more important, and that is my heart. And something even more important, that my heart is my Father’s..

I want to encourage you to take some time to consider how the Father has loved you too.. He is the one who gave Jesus for us, to bring us home to Him, and loves us with that same love.

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Thank you to Sarah Mattioli for letting me post this with her beautiful heart painting!

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