Some images go beyond metaphor. They are deep-down truth. We can meditate on deep-down truth each day of our lives; such truth will never run dry because we are in touch with the fabric of creation, the heart of God. Perhaps today we could muse on the revelation that, as followers of Jesus, God is our Father.
He’s not like a father. He is our Father. It’s how the universe works: the transcendent creator of the universe, the One who spun the galaxies off his fingertips while wisdom danced with delight, is our Father. And Jesus, the Son, came to reveal the Father so that we might see him and grow in the family likeness. Consider this simple statement from the Perfect Son:
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 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!” (Matthew 7: 9-11)
These words of Jesus are vital to our everyday walk with God.
Many believers have no trouble with the idea that God is great and powerful. We have been told all our lives of the power of God. We have not been told enough of his role as Father. If we see the greatness of God without recognizing his Father’s heart, we will find ourselves at a distance from him. Because of his greatness and majesty, God is capable of working all things after the counsel of his will. The thoughts and plans of humanity cannot overcome the purpose of God. Yet apart from understanding the nature of his fatherhood, we are tempted to see every event in our lives as the work of the all-powerful God. A few examples:
- “My cancer is a gift from God,” says a daughter of God. “Through this ordeal I have discovered his tender care and the love of my family.”
- “I wouldn’t trade that auto accident for anything,” says a son of God. “Even though I am paralyzed I realize it was God’s will to humble me.”
- “When my spouse left me I was devastated,” says a child of God. “Now I see it was God’s plan all along.”
To be sure, the Father is at work in each of these settings, bringing grace and hope to the lives of each one touched by the sin and sorrow of this world: but are we really willing to say that our Heavenly Father is the author of such things? With a god like that, who needs a devil? What earthly parent would bestow sickness, accident or betrayal upon their children?
Like any loving parent, our Heavenly Father is present through times of trial and sorrow which are inevitable in a sinful and ailing world. Unlike an earthly parent the Heavenly Father has the wisdom and power to redeem the loss, repair the hurt, and bring a greater good beyond the tragedy.
So many of us are convinced of God’s power. Are we equally convinced of his goodness? I’d like to suggest this week we should meditate on the staggering revelation of Father.