A father takes his daughter, Abby, to the park. Walking hand in hand, they enjoy each other. The father listens, smiling, as Abby chatters away about this and that, including asking for ice cream on the way home.
Eventually, she spots her favorite place in the park as they approach. “Swings, Daddy! Can we, can we?”
“Sure!” he says. He pushes her until the squeals of delight subside and his aching arms could shove no more. Still full of energy, she asks as she dismounts, “Can I go play in the sandbox?”
“Certainly,” replies the dad.
He sits on a bench as she scampers over, never taking his watchful eye off his little darling.
Shortly thereafter an older boy approaches and tells her to get out. Abby tries to ignore him, but he keeps taunting her. The father doesn’t intervene, but observes intently to see what his daughter will do. This has happened before and he’s been trying to teach her how to stand up for herself; not to let fear overcome her. The bully then pushes her down.
“Daddy, daddy!” the little girl wails, as she runs to her father. “That bully over there just pushed me down! My knee hurts!”
Lovingly the father gathers her into his arms and comforts her, tends to her knee, and sees that it’s only a scratch. “It’ll be ok, sweet thing.” He wipes her tears. “Hey, let’s go get that ice cream.”
And they happily walked away together.
Children run into a loving parent’s lap. There they find comfort, reassurance, and love. A good parent loves unconditionally, protects, provides, guides, comforts, reassures, and even disciplines. He always has the child’s best welfare in mind and acts accordingly. That’s our God. God wants us to run to Him. He wants to be seen and treated as our heavenly Father.
The father/child bond is probably the most accurate picture of God’s relationship with His people. The Bible frequently refers to God as our Father and to us as His children (Ps 68:5, Is 64:8, Jn 1:12, Mt 6:9).
“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the Lord Almighty. (2 Cor 6:18)
It’s a word picture all of us can understand. Even if you are not a parent, you had parents. If you are one, you naturally want to love and nurture your children.
“Father” is the way Jesus taught His disciples to address God in prayer (Lk 11:2) and is the term He used as well. There is an even a more intimate phrase utilized three times in the New Testament, AbbaFather. Jesus used it during His agony in the garden of Gethsemane. (Mk 14:36, Rom 8:15, Gal 4:6)
To think that we have been given the right to call our Creator God “Father” is amazing!
…To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (Jn 1:11-12).
This phrase AbbaFather is a “term of tender endearment by a beloved child.” It means to call upon God in the language of affection and endearing confidence. We could easily translate it as daddy….
God is Not Like a Human Father
This concept of God as our Father is a totally foreign one because of the sad fact that many of us didn’t have a good father. That was me. I will discuss this further as we go along, but know now that God is not like humans. We are made in His image, not the other way around. When sin entered the world it distorted everything, including relationships. So please keep an open mind if you didn’t have a good father. Clarity will come to you as we delve further into the Scriptures and dig up the real truths about God as our Father.
Even if you never had a parent to whom you could run as a child, you have a heavenly Daddy inviting you to do so now. What a comforting word picture this has been for me! My desire is to help you become that little girl who can run to her Father’s lap whenever you need—even as an adult.
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