God the Father

God the Father

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. 1 John 3:1

As a child, I found my parents to be terribly unfair and I chaffed at all their rules. I was envious of my friends who grew up without the same kind of oversight. Why can’t my parents care a little less? Now, with kids of my own, I’m on the other side of it. I’m the one who’s overly strict. I’m the one who’s unfair. As a child, I couldn’t understand but now, as a parent, I get it. I love my children and what I do, I do for their own good, whether they see it that way or not.

In today’s passage, John used the parent/child relationship to explain our relationship with God. He said we must understand the love God has for us – the love of a parent for his (or her) child.

This is a profound truth I must grasp, but as his child, I’ve still wrestled with God the father. In my addiction, I asked that God miraculously remove my struggle. When he didn’t, I became angry and resentful. Why would you not take this away? I now see that God was teaching me to be obedient – confessing, getting help, changing my life – before transforming me. Now, I can see that I found authentic life, joy, and peace only in obeying him, but I couldn’t see that as good parenting at the time. In my addiction, all I saw was a father who refused to miraculously heal me. When he didn’t do it exactly how I wanted, I became bitter.

This is still easy to do. Honestly, there’s a lot that I still don’t understand. The world is horribly unfair. I know many of you have experienced years of unanswered prayers. If God is a loving parent, why not do what I ask? I read the news. I see the pain in the world. Recently, I read of a three-year-old who was beaten to death by an adult caretaker. Where was God the father in that?

I don’t know that I can provide a satisfying answer.. I’m still a child myself and as such, I cannot completely understand God. I can say however, that if I want to know life, joy, and peace, I can find those things only in my faith in him. He’s the father and I’m the child. If I don’t like it, I can refuse to follow him, but that has made me nothing but miserable. I may not understand God, but still, I can find authentic life, joy, and peace only in following him. So, I will.

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