"'Has anyone by fussing before the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? If fussing can't even do that, why fuss at all? Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don't fuss with their appearance - but have you ever seen colour and design quite like it? The ten best dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gave such attention to wildflowers, most of them never ever seen, don't you think He'll attend to you, take pride in you, do His best for you?'" Luke 12:25-28 (The Message).
Once again it's all about God being our Father. But here's the real issue. God once asked Jeremiah, 'Why are you so suspicious of me?' I'm afraid that this is often the case with us as well. We worry and fuss about 'things' because we aren't convinced that God really means what He says. When bills and needs stare us in the face, we retreat into worry mode because we can't physically see and hear God. Our faith evaporates in the face of everyday demands and we slip back into our old 'orphan' mentality.
But there is something much bigger at stake than what's on the surface. If a child is abused or neglected, it always reflects back on the parents. What really caring father would allow his child to dress in rags or go hungry while stuffing himself with food? Jesus' argument was, "'If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!'" Matthew 7:7 (NIV). It's the father's reputation that suffers if his children are neglected.
God is far more concerned than earthly fathers about the needs of His children because, in the end, it's His glory that is at stake. He is the model of perfect fatherhood and He keeps revealing Himself as the model. Why would He ruin His own reputation and betray our trust if He is concerned about His glory?
Jesus called attention to wildflowers as an example of the extravagant beauty of transient creation. As temporary as they are, they are there to reflect God's glory. When God faithfully meets the needs of His children, He is being who He is, He cannot deny Himself. His promises are a reflection of who He is. He reveals Himself to us as He honours His word so that we can reflect His glory back to Him.
What is the missing element, then? It is our confidence in His faithfulness. Why are we so suspicious of God? Our trust in God as our Father is tainted by our experience of our own fathers. We might have had an abusive father, a harsh father, a cold father, or an absent father and we interpret God through the grid of our own experience. Even a good father falls short of perfection.
There are at least two steps we must take to help us adjust our perception of God as our Father. Firstly, we must acknowledge that our fathers are as imperfect as we are. They have issues just as we have and, therefore, we have no right to judge them. Secondly, we must forgive the unpayable debt they owe us, and set them free from their guilt, just as God has forgiven us and released us from ours. Now we are free to embrace God as our perfect Father without the grid of our father's failure. God will then be 'Abba' in our hearts and not only in our heads.
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