Tuesday, October 26, 2010
God, Our Father~ A Spiritual Column by Hogan Stevens
It seems like it was just yesterday when my dad was teaching me how to ride my bike. I was six at the time and I wanted to ride that bike more than anything, so my dad decided that he would go ahead and teach me. Well, it wasn’t that easy. I did fine with it as long as he was holding the handle bars to keep me steady, but as soon as he let go I would tumble to the ground, much to my aggravation. Whenever I fell off my bike, I would get angry and give up. I was determined to never try again.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Maybe it doesn’t trigger memories of when you learned to ride a bike, but memories or thoughts of something completely different. Sometimes we feel like God has left us alone in our lives, don’t we? And when we feel abandoned it seems like we can never do anything right; we mess up time after time and just feel like giving up. Even David sometimes felt this way. In Psalm 22:1 he says, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (NIV)
After a little while, I would forget the anger or hurt I felt after wrecking my bike and I would go outside and tell my dad that I wanted to try it again. He would smile and gladly show me how it was done--every single time I asked him. He never once said to me, “I’ve already showed you how to do enough, Hogan. Do it yourself.” Instead, he would say, “You want to give it another try? I’ll help you.” He promised me that I would eventually get it, and I did. One day I finally pedaled up and down our driveway without the slightest wobble, and when I got off my bike I had a huge grin on my face. My daddy was right there, smiling along with me and congratulating me.
I know we face much harder dilemmas and circumstances in life than learning to ride a bike, but Jesus is with us each and every time. Just like my dad when he let go of the handle bars, God never completely abandons you. He is right there beside you, making sure you don’t fall. And when you do fall and get hurt, Jesus gently picks you up, wipes the tears from your eyes, and sets you right back on your bike, once again showing you how to ride it.
“I call to God, and the Lord saves me.” Psalm 55:16 (NIV)
Isn’t it amazing, to think that we all have a Father that looks out for us and loves us unconditionally? I’m not talking about our earthly fathers, though they can be wonderful as well. The Father I am speaking of is our heavenly Father, God. We are all His children, no matter where we come from or what we have done, and He loves us with a passion. Why else would He even have created us if He knew that we would turn away from Him? And yes, He knew very well that we would fall into sinfulness! But, like the loving Father He is, Jesus still loves and cares for us even when we mess up.
I once knew a girl that when she prayed, instead of calling Him “Father” or “Lord”, she said, “Daddy”. At first, I thought that that was a little odd, but later I learned that there is a Hebrew name for God that is more or less the equivalent of our word for “Daddy”. It is Abba, the name that Jesus used when praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. When I first heard the meaning of Abba, I cried. To think that God, the all-powerful, all-knowing God considers Himself my Daddy! And He is yours as well.
Maybe you have never before thought of God in such a way before, and this is the first time you have ever heard of His love and tenderness toward you. If so, I pray you feel a need to have this wonderful Father in your life. If you do want to accept Jesus as your Father (or if you have already done so but want to ask Him to help you realize that He never leaves you), then pray this simple prayer:
Jesus, I know that You are my heavenly Father. I know that, because of Your selfless love and sacrifice, I am Your child, and I ask You to fill my heart, to fill my life, and to make me whole. Thank You so much for always being there for me. In Your name, Amen.
May you always remember that your Father is smiling down at you, leading you down the right path, and ready to catch you when you stumble and fall.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we might be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1 (NIV)
Note from Haylie: If Hogan’s article has helped you in any way or has lead you to your heavenly Daddy, please let us share in your joy! Let us know that you have become a Daughter of the King! We are praying for you J