“And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father.’” Galatians 4:6 (NLT)
I hugged my pink stuffed poodle to my chest. We were about to have a serious conversation, even though I would be the only one talking. My 10-year-old self looked into his black button eyes and silently confided the empty ache that I dared not admit to anyone.
I wish I had a daddy who loved me, I began. I wish I had a daddy who would kiss me on the cheek when he came home from work, tickle my sides after catching me in a game of chase, and carry me piggyback in the park. I wish I had a daddy who liked me. Hugged me. Said nice things about me.
I wish my daddy didn’t ignore me and act like I wasn’t in the room. I wish I wasn’t afraid of him. I wish I had a daddy who loved me. Poodle understood.
A memory crosses my mind of sitting at my friend’s house, watching her daddy stroke her long red hair as she sat in his lap, leaning her head on his chest. For the two of them, it was nothing special. To me, it was magical.
Mr. Jack loved his daughters, and I wished I were one of them.
The scars of being an unwanted child, an abused child, or even an ignored child run deep. They cut against the very grain of what God created the relationship between a parent and a child to be. But even the deep trenches left on a little girl’s heart can be filled with God’s love and healed by His grace.
No parent is perfect. None can be available all the time — physically or emotionally. From time to time, parents are too controlling, too protective or too permissive. They lose their temper, patience and control. They fly off the handle and fly by the seat of their pants. Including me!
Maybe that’s your story, though hopefully not. But here’s something that is your story and mine. We all have a daddy who loves us. That is God the Father.
When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He said, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you … your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven … ’” (Matthew 6:6, 8b-9a, NIV).
Of all the names Jesus used for God, He used “Father” more than any other — and He invites us to do the same.
In Galatians 4:6, today’s key verse, Paul wrote: “And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father.’”
Think about that. The God of the universe who created the heavens and the earth, who always has been and always will be, who’s all knowing, all powerful, and present everywhere at once — that same God invites you to call Him Abba Father. He said, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters …” (2 Corinthians 6:18a, NIV).
One of my friend’s granddaughters taught me a great lesson.
Gayle was running errands with her granddaughter, Carlie, and Carlie’s friend in the backseat. These two little girls were born the same day, in the same hospital, and now lived in adjacent apartments. When Carlie came to Grandma’s house, her friend often came too. Carlie knew her daddy; her friend had never known hers.
While riding in the car, Carlie’s little friend said, “I wish I had a daddy like you have a daddy.”
Carlie replied, “Oh, you do have a daddy.”
“No, I don’t. I want a daddy like you have a daddy. I wish I had a daddy.”
“But you do have a daddy,” Carlie insisted. “We all have a daddy. God is our daddy. He’s everybody’s daddy.”
Gayle looked in her rearview mirror and saw Carlie’s friend hold up her hands in exasperation. “Why has nobody ever told me this?”
No matter what kind of father you had as a child, here’s one thing I want you to remember: You have a heavenly Father who loves and adores you. You’re the apple of your Daddy’s eye. (Psalm 17:8)
Heavenly Father, oh how I love You. Thank You for adopting me into Your family and making me Your child. Thank You for being my heavenly parent who loves me unconditionally, cares for me unendingly and provides for all my needs. I’m so blessed to be Your child. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
1 John 3:1a, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (NIV)
Do you ever feel that you’re just not enough? Well, God says you are! Join Sharon Jaynes in her book, Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence, and learn how to fight the enemy’s lies and stand on God’s truth.
Visit Sharon’s new community of prayer warriors at The Praying Wives Club.
REFLECT AND RESPOND
Make a list of characteristics for what you’d consider the perfect father. Then, put a check by the characteristics found in your heavenly Father.
As we celebrate Father’s Day this weekend in the United States, how are you comforted knowing you have a loving, present heavenly Father who adores you? Share your thoughts with us!
© 2019 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.