God is my dad?
I mean, I have a great dad of course, but isn't it difficult to look at Him that way?
Sometimes we view God and He's so distant...so...Kingly...nothing like a dad who bounces us on his knee or reads us a bedtime story. It's taken me forever to grasp, and maybe I'm being a little transparent and vulnerable here, but on my most anxious nights where my breathing is irregular and worries run rampant, I'll close my eyes and picture Jesus sitting on my vanity chair next to my bed, just holding my hand.
It seems so silly to imagine the God of the universe sitting beside my bed, but am I really that far off? The Bible frequently refers to God as "Father" and yet we really don't think of Him like that. I wonder why he's so patient with me, and I know I'm not alone in having a difficult time grasping the vastness of His love for me...specifically. Little...old...ME.
And then I had my own child. I remember rocking her in her chair before bed, such a helpless little infant, who couldn't do anything without Matt and I to feed her, dress her, comfort her, shelter her...LOVE her.
I sat in that chair and thought, "This is how my parents feel about me." It's a shame we don't realize that when we're in their constant care.
But even more potent was the thought, "This is only a fraction of the amount that God loves me." Wow. I think it definitely is made so much clearer once you have your own children, but it was at that moment that I could see God as my parent. It made perfect sense as I sat there and rocked the most precious little baby on earth in my arms...This is how HE feels about me. Unconditionally. Wow.
And, in case you didn't get my point, He feels that way about you too. Maybe this makes no sense if you don't have kids...but you probably have parents who love you the same way I love my munchkin even when she's constantly testing me, disobeying me, and doing her own thing - and she knows that...she doesn't understand how much or why...but she knows I love her forever, no matter what.
What a comfort that is. In the paraphrased words of our great Winter Retreat speaker this year, there's nothing we can do to make God love us more. And, even more importantly, there's nothing we can do to make Him love us less.
The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 3:17-19
And, I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long hand high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
I'd say that about sums it up.