June 21, 2010

 

Can I Call You "Daddy?"

Glynnis Whitwer

 

 "For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again,

but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"

Romans 8:15 (NASB)

         

Devotion:

Victoria gripped the phone, and dialed frantically.   "Answer, answer, answer," she muttered.  Finally, a deep male voice was heard on the other end. 

 

Victoria's words tumbled out in a rush, "Daddy, I'm in trouble. I need you."

 

This scene was from a favorite show.  While it's not the most intellectual program out there, I'll admit I'm hooked on the characters. One in particular.  The father of the panicked woman mentioned above. He's not a perfect dad; not even a good one most of the time.  However, his children know he will hire a small army, spend any amount of money or fly his private jet to come to their rescue. 

 

His desire to help his children pulls at something deep within me.  Although I grew up with a good father, I wouldn't have asked him for help.  My father was scholarly.  He was a teacher who adored his books, classical music and pipe. I knew he loved me … that wasn't the issue.  He just wasn't an active part of my life.  My mother was my problem-solver and rescuer.

 

I never had any issues with my father.  At least none that I knew of.  Until someone told me that my relationship with my earthly father had already affected my relationship with my heavenly Father.  Really?  I thought I was pretty healthy.  Then I started praying and thinking about it. 

 

Although I loved God deeply, I realized I didn't see Him as a close father.  Maybe a distant one.  But not one I could call when I'm in trouble. Not one who would hold me while I sat on His lap and cried.  Not one who would move heaven and earth, or fire up the private jet, to save me. 

 

You see, I've never had a father like that.  In the depth of my heart, I knew God could help me, but did He really want to?  Was He motivated to help me with the same passion I have to help my children?  Sadly, I realized I didn't know how to relate to God like a caring father.  But I wanted to.

 

So I started to change how I pray.  Jesus modeled a close relationship with His Heavenly Father.  In fact, Jesus called Him "Abba" or "Daddy" (Mark 14:36).  I started to pray that way as well.  I'll admit it was awkward, and still is at times.  Yet, as I have drawn near to God in this tender new way, I realized He has been waiting for me all along. 

 

I'm coming to understand that God's longing for me is similar to how I feel for my own children.  Even though my 18-year-old feels too big to need his mama, I still desire to mother him with protective and loving oversight.   And just as I long for my growing children to come and sit on my lap or rest a head on my shoulder, God longs for me to come to Him.

 

I'm still learning what all of this looks like.  What I know for sure is that I've been invited into a precious relationship with my heavenly Father.  In fact, I've been invited to call Him "Daddy." 

           

Dear Daddy, how I long to fully understand Your love for me.  I know in my head You are a tender father, but my heart still doesn't understand.  Please reveal Yourself to me as a caring daddy.  Help me to overcome all barriers I have to living like a chosen and precious daughter of Yours.  I want to know You more.  In Jesus' Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

Embraced by the Father by Susanne Scheppmann

 

Do You Know Him?

 

Visit Glynnis' blog

His Princess: Love Letters from Your Prince by Sheri Rose Shepherd
Love Notes in Lunchboxes by Linda Gilden

Application Steps: 

Make a list of five things a loving earthly father does for his children.  Now consider how God does those same things for us, but in different ways. 

 

Reflections: 

How has your relationship with your earthly father affected your relationship with your heavenly Father?

 

If you could ask your heavenly Daddy for something today, what would it be?

 

Power Verses:

1 John 3:1, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (NIV) 

Matthew 7:11, "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (NIV)

 

 

 

© 2010 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

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Matthews, NC 28105

www.proverbs31.org