June 14, 2004
Encouragement for Today
A Different Daddy
Susanne Scheppmann - Member of Proverbs Speaker Team
Because you are God's children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into us to call out, "Abba! Father!" Galatians 4:6 (God's Word)
The antiseptic smell of the intensive care unit assaulted my nose as I sat next to my father's bed. Machines whirred and beeped with each labored breath he took. One collapsed lung and the other full of pneumonia predicted the outcome for him.
"So this is how it ends," I pondered. For years, a love-hate relationship with this man influenced many of my decisions. Some good, some bad. I always sought his approval, but rarely did he grant it - until two years ago, when he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.
At the age of 79, my earthly father discovered the Father God's unconditional love. I struggled to believe my father could transform from a mean bitter man to one full of love for others. I traveled five hundred miles just to look into those crinkled hazel eyes to see a new dad peering out at me. Our relationship changed drastically. Finally, my father became the dad I desired.
Now he lay dying. Two years was not long enough! Yet strangely, I felt a deep peace. I knew he was going home to his Father in heaven. I leaned over to kiss his damp forehead and using a name I had not called him forty-five years, I whispered, "I love you, Daddy. I'll see you soon."
We use many terms to refer to our fathers. Father, poppa, pop, dad and daddy all recall certain images in our minds. Our hearts were designed for a father type of relationship. Perhaps your experience with your father was like mine, not the best. Maybe you had a wonderful daddy, if so count your blessings. Whatever the relationships between you and your father, remember he is human. No one is perfect. We all have faults.
Many of us remember the old television show, Father Knows Best. We smile fondly as we recall the perfect family with the father sowing his wisdom in all sorts of different scenarios. What a family! Dad wore suits, mom wore dresses, and the children behaved with admirable manners.
However, in today's culture we watch bumbling television families. The Simpsons or The Osbournes appear nightly across the television screens of our homes. With such examples of fathers traipsing before us, how do we perceive our Heavenly Father?
The God of the universe is our Heavenly Father. He loves us as his daughters and longs for us to love and trust him as our "Daddy." Scripture tells us, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:17 NIV)." God is the ultimate father who bestows good and perfect gifts upon his children. He does not change; he is worthy of our trust.
For me, eventually learning to trust my earthly father allowed me to call him, "Daddy." In the same way, when we trust our Heavenly Father, we see Him as He has always been, a perfect daddy to us. In our key verse today, "Abba" translates as daddy. God desires to be our Father God, the perfect Father, our Daddy, and our Abba.
Will you trust him today as your "Abba Father?"
My prayer for today:
Dear Father God, help me to know in my heart that you love me with a perfect fatherly love. Begin to teach me how to relate to you as my "Abba, Daddy."
Write Galatians 4:6 on an index card and tape it on your mirror. Ponder this verse each time you peek in the mirror. Read John 17:2-25 and then reflect on Christ's prayer to the Father for you and meditate on John 17:20-25.
How does my relationship with my earthly father influence my relationship with God?
Do I blame God for past circumstances in my life?
Am I comfortable addressing God as "My Father?"
In what ways has God provided for me in the past? (Food, clothing, etc.)
Do I trust God with my future?
Matthew 6:26, Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? (NIV)
Zephaniah 3:17, The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." (NIV)
John 10:32, But Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. (NIV)
Matthew 6:32-34, People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. (The Message)
1 Corinthians 8:6, Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. (NIV)
Who Holds the Key to Your Heart by Lysa TerKeurst
Intimate Moments with God by Sharon Jaynes and others
A Woman after God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George
Originally published Monday, 14 June 2004.