Our Father who art in Heaven…
What do you think when you consider a father in Heaven? Many of us may not have the best example by which to gauge such a relationship.
When I was in preschool my biological father left me because he “couldn’t f—ing handle” the responsibilities of family life. Or that’s what I heard.
I got the example that there were limits on what a father could put up with or endure.
We chased him across the country and spent the next year or so moving from one motel to another, playing happy family. I got held out of school a lot and had to do remedial work to catch up with the other kids.
I got the example of instability with a father.
When I was five my biological father left again. He let me outside to play on my own on the streets of Los Angeles, and he proceeded to withdraw every dime we had.
I was not given the example of a father as a provider. In fact, I was given the opposite. I didn’t see a tower of refuge, but rather someone who put me in harm’s way.
When I was eight I went to visit my biological father. He worked the whole time, and he “borrowed” my birthday money to buy himself cigarettes.
It was around that time I decided I was done with fathers, but then something unexpected happened. God sent me a dad. I was adopted to be a daughter. I was loved unconditionally, kept safe, provided for, disciplined lovingly, and taught how to lead a productive life. I was shown that I was special, beautiful, and chosen.
Our Father in Heaven isn’t an angry judge in the sky. If you’ve only experienced the harsh hand of a disciplinarian father you may think so, but He’s not.
Our Father in Heaven is present. If you’ve grown up your whole life without a father you might think that impossible, but this Father truly cares about you and all aspects of your life.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Our Father in Heaven is more than any example of a father this broken world may have given you. He is a dad. He’s that second chance daddy, like the one I received on earth, but He is a second chance dad that we all can receive by adoption into His family. He is beyond any example we’ve ever been given.
Our God is love, and the Father Heart of God is one that loves His children unconditionally. It knows no bounds, so even if you don’t know how to love a father, He knows how to love you. Right where you’re at.
I don’t share my story about my childhood out of anger, or to dredge up the past. I have come to terms with the fact that some men aren’t meant to be fathers, and that’s okay. In all honesty, I love both my earthly fathers, both the dad who was present, and the biological father who was not. I have forgiven anything in the past because that’s what my loving Heavenly Father has extended to me. Forgiveness even when I’ve fallen short and turned my back on Him.
That’s the great thing about Abba Father. No matter what example this life has thrown your way, He is able to move you past it, heal you, strengthen you, love you, and show you what a precious child you are in His sight. For so many out there it’s hard to see a father in a good light, but Our Heavenly Poppa can redeem all things and make them new. He can renew a father/child relationship with even the fatherless, and He can show you that part of your life that has always been empty just waiting for a father’s touch.