Something I think is very revealing about individual believers is our choice of title for God. Some use Lord, Healer, Jehovah, and so on. One I have never felt comfortable with was Father.
When others would pray, “Father in Heaven,” or worse, “Abba Father” I would cringe. I just don’t get it. I’m certain it has to do with my family and my relationship with my earthly father, which isn’t bad, but definitely not one that would lend itself well to calling God the same name.
But when I became a father, especially when I had a son, things started to change for me. All the sudden I started recognizing connections between my actions as father and God as Father. I’d be holding my son as he cried after falling down, and I’d hug him and say, “Daddy’s got you” and I’d tear up and think to myself, “This is how God feels when I’m hurting.” When my sons – I have two now; there was a sale on KidBay – do well at something I feel immense pride in them. I realize that this is how God feels about our success. When I watch my sons play with each other my heart swells with love and I realize this is how God loves us – His “heart” swells with love!
And I realize, this is how God loves me.
We in the church talk a good game about God and love. But do we believe it?
Take for instance this quote I heard when I was listening to the radio yesterday:
When a man stands against God, God laughs!
I’m sure the preacher, Ron Moore of Journey Radio Ministry, meant well. He was talking about those who oppose God and how their power and ability to actually oppose God is laughable when comparing their power to God’s power. But he has it all wrong.
When a man stands against God, God weeps!
How do I know? I know the same way I know that if my son turned against me or started doing things I knew were bad for him I would weep for him. I certainly wouldn’t laugh:
“What son? You hate me and no longer want to have a relationship with me? Ha! I laugh at you!”
Church, we need to be mindful of when we put our sinful human characteristics on God and instead take His divine and perfect characteristics on ourselves. We laugh at our enemies. God loves them and tells us to love them.
God loves us. Our Father loves us.
I’ll keep trying until that name becomes comfortable.