I wasn’t the greatest father when my kids were growing up. It’s only by God’s grace that my daughter is the wonderful Christian that she is today. I was too quick to criticize and too slow to encourage. I grew up poor so I was anxious that my kids have the things I didn’t. I wasn’t always there when I should have been.
I think many of us suffer from the imperfect fathering we received. When we are told about our heavenly Father, we suffer from echoes of our earthly fathers. When we hear voices, we can’t tell if it’s God or someone else because the voices sound so much like the father’s voice we remember from childhood.
These things I have learned:
Our Father doesn’t focus on the past. He guides us to a brighter future.
Our Father doesn’t harp on confessed and forgiven sins. He elevates and multiplies our smallest efforts.
Our Father isn’t interested in all we know, but in that we know Him.
Our Father didn’t send his Son to fill our heads with learning, but to teach our hearts to love.
I had a rare word from the Lord the other night. He said simply not to fear and that His people are in His heart and never far from His sight. At the time I thought it kind of strange. Aren’t we always in His sight. On prayer and reflection I realize that He was encouraging. He was saying we are not far from seeing as He sees. He always sees us, we just don’t always see what He sees. Sometimes the vision comes close, but then it slips away.
On earth it’s tough to keep a heavenly perspective: to see continuously things as God does. Some of what He sees is that much that we consider important, isn’t. He sees us struggling to know more about Him and failing to really know Him. He sees us forgetting that how we love each other is the real sign that we are His. He sees a world that’s dying and a church that’s not really trying.
But He also sees the widow that spends her lonely hours in prayer, the mother who struggles to raise her children alone, the teenager who tries to find the way. To see as God sees is a great gift with a great responsibility. He sees all the need and knows He’s the only answer.