Encouragement for Today - Oct. 27, 2009
October 27, 2009
Ariel Allison, She Reads Featured Author
"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry Abba, Father. The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children."
Romans 8:15-16 (NIV)
We welcome Ariel Allison as our guest writer today. Ariel is the author of eye of the god, one of P31's She Reads fall selections. Ariel is the mom of four boys under the age of 7 and wrote a suspenseful novel in her "spare" time.
The cross that marks my father's grave is nothing but a broken tree branch lashed together with twine. Knee high weeds grow above the sunken ground where the rustic casket lies. The last time I visited his grave was late at night as I stared at the makeshift cross with the help of flickering headlights. The sharp chill of a Tennessee autumn surrounded me and once again I felt the longing.
What I longed for, as I stood on that frigid hilltop, was not the physical presence of my father. It was what I had never really gotten from him—the feeling or assurance of his love.
A year earlier I sat beside a dying man and choked on my sorrow as I asked, "Daddy, do you love me?" I got my answer hours before he slipped into eternity.
He looked at me with startling blue eyes. My resolve to hold it together began to crumble. I feared his answer. What if he said no? How would I live with that knowledge? But even worse was the thought of standing over a grave and never knowing his answer.
His blue eyes clouded with tears. "I'm sorry," he said, his tongue swollen and dry. "I'm sorry I haven't said it. I do love you."
For the first time in my life, my father and I wept tears of joy together. It was a holy moment, a gift from the God who loves me more than my earthly father ever could. Before he passed on, I got but a taste of what our relationship should have been. It was a drop of water on the tongue of a thirsty woman.
Jesus taught us to refer to God as "Abba" or "Daddy." Jesus knew it would be difficult for some of us to approach God as our Father. However, only God can fill the empty places in our hearts that long for a father's love. He offers a living water, a living love, that quenches our thirst. We simply need to admit that we are empty and thirsting for our Father - our heavenly Father.
I've longed to be the delight of my father. Not for a moment on his deathbed, but for the entirety of my life. This longing has caused my heart to hunger deeply for my heavenly Father. My Abba. He says that I am His child, and assures me that He loves me. In those words my heart finds the father I've been looking for my entire life.
The rustic cross above my dad's grave represents the truth that I have a Father who loves me. I have a Father who will never leave me nor forsake me.
And so do you.
Father God, help me to know You as my Father, the One who will never leave me nor forsake me. Heal my broken places and teach me what it means to be loved. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
eye of the god - Christian suspense novel by Ariel Allison
The Wonder of His Love: A Journey into the Heart of God by Nancy Stafford
Talk with Ariel and join the She Reads blog discussion where this week we'll be talking about the father-daughter relationship and it's affect on lives and literature.
It is hard to know the love of Father God if you've never known the love of your earthly father. If you feel distant from your heavenly Father, ask Him to come closer, and invite His Spirit to dwell within you.
If your earthly father has been a source of pain in your life, pray that God will give you the courage to forgive.
Do you need to allow yourself the freedom to grieve the loss of a father's love, and seek the love of your Father God? Be honest with yourself, and God about this.
2 Corinthians 6:18, "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (NIV)
Psalm 10:14, "But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless." (NIV)
Psalm 68:5, "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." (NIV)
© 2009 by Ariel Allison. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
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