Who's Your Daddy?

Good morning! At least, I think it's morning. It's only slightly lighter than midnight. I've been told that my lingering sickness could be due to a Vitamin D deficiency, and I'm thinking that's highly likely considering I can barely remember what the sun looks like. But don't the cold, dreary days make us appreciate the sunny, warm ones even more?

Let's face it. We're people with a very short memory. We can manage to be thankful and appreciate something for about four hours before we find something to whine about again. I mean, if we'd been starving for most of our lives and then came to the abundance of America, don't you think we'd fall on our face in tears every time we got a hot meal? Now we just figure out how we can eat less of it and be skinnier.

The more I hang out with my kids, the more I see that I'm just like them! It's kind of scary. I mean, at 35 years old, wouldn't you think I'd be beyond acting like my 7-year-old? Sure, I clean it up and make it sound all adult-like, but underneath it all, I still think and act like a kid in so many ways.

I want life to be easy, fun, and entertaining. I want what I want when I want it. And when these things don't happen (which, let's face it, is pretty much always), I throw my pity party or question God's love for me.

Can I really still be so weak and selfish?

Um...yes. Apparently.

Now, don't get me wrong. Sometimes I make a better choice. Sometimes I choose the eternal perspective. There are times when I lay down my desires to meet someone else's. Kids aren't always disobedient and selfish.

But I realize, as trials come in life (and I use that word lightly in my case...I've got it easy) that more often than not, it's a struggle.

So many of us seem so quick to call God to the carpet over things. We seem to rush to the conclusion that the Lord no longer loves us or is present in our lives because...well, frankly, because we're unhappy. Our circumstances have disappointed us and so we wonder where God is and what in the world He could be doing.

When the glass is bumped, muddy water spills out.

But, as parents, can we not see that so often we subject our children to things that don't necessarily make them happy? We discipline, we teach responsibility, we mold, we direct, and they don't always enjoy this process. I mean, who would rather clean their room than watch tv? Or who would rather do homework than go outside and play? Who would rather get a spanking than get away with screaming at someone who's just annoyed the stew out of you?

I want my kids to get this. I want my kids to know that even when things seem tough or too harsh or bleak, my love hasn't changed. And what that means is God has not changed.

When I spank them, I ask them, "Do you know why I did this?" When I scold them,  I ask, "Do you know why I did this?" When I make them suffer the natural consequences of their actions, I ask, "Do you know why I did this?" When I use stinky circumstances in their lives to teach them instead of rescue them, I ask, "Do you know why I did this?"

And the answer I'm looking for?

"Because you love me."

It doesn't feel like love. It doesn't look like love. It doesn't sound like love. Our perception tells us it cannot be love.

And, yet, as the parent, we know it is. Loving is not allowing unhindered indulgence. Loving is not shielding them from circumstances or consequences. Loving is not always giving them what seems pleasant at that moment.

Love is using life to show them what true life really is.

So why am I so hard on God? Has their ever been a more good or loving Father? Has their ever been someone who so clearly demonstrated selfless love for me?

Why do I so quickly forget the proof of the Cross when my toast burns?

Life is hard and the world is broken. Tragedy threatens and heartache happens. Trials seem unending and failure seems eminent. Loneliness lurks around every corner and discouragement is so quick to set in.

I want a faith that looks in the face of this broken world and smiles. I want a faith that takes the trials in stride, thanking God for the finished product that will result. I want a faith that doesn't question His character but always trusts His goodness. I want a faith that stands the test of time and life and struggle. I want a faith that knows He's my loving Daddy even in the midst of the tough lessons.

And I suppose the only way to get that is to live this hard life in this hurting world, choosing to trust His Word until I can see His hand.

As I look out the window at another rain-filled day, I choose to believe the sun still exists, though the world is cloudy and gray.

 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.  And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”


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