The word father does not sit well with a lot of people. Whether the reason is due to physical, mental, or emotional abuse, the absence of a father from working too much, divorce, or just being completely absent. Whatever it may be, the term father can be challenging for some, if not most people.
Then, there are some who had a great father. A father who learned how to handle their own short comings and not project them on to their children.
Whatever the perception is people have for an earthly father, it makes me wonder what their grid or understanding is for viewing God as Father. Jesus uses the term Father, often throughout scripture, when referring to God. The first is when He is a young boy at the age of 12. Luke 2:49, Jesus says to His mother Mary, 'did you not know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house'.
When Jesus says these words, He is beginning something that has been waiting to be revealed fully and He is now about to.
When I was 29, I was working in my restaurant which was a busy lunch service, and I was hurting physically. I was diagnosed with a hernia which was not fun. On a regular day I was working, and I heard a customer come to our pick-up window. To my surprise, it was the wife of the Pastor from a local church my wife and I had been recently attending. We exchanged pleasantries and she handed me an envelope and told me that someone wanted to give me a gift. I thanked her for the gift, and she drove off before I could open it.
As I walk to the back of the small pizza shop, I began to have anticipation arise within me like butterflies in my stomach. As I open the envelope, I saw five $100 bills. My emotions began to overwhelm me, I was quickly reminded of the cost of the surgeon that was scheduled to perform the hernia surgery in a couple of weeks, their cost was $550. This was a very strange thing for me. Only my wife and co-workers knew how broke we were at the time. Our business was not doing well, everything felt heavy and very burdensome. Little did I know that through this little act of kindness and love, my life would begin to feel brand new again.
Back to Jesus saying something that would change the course of history. That day when Jesus uses the term Fa
ther in referring to God as His Father, I saw this as the beginning of restoring God to where He has always sought be, our Father. It was not until a few years later when Jesus was teaching His disciples that they asked Him how to pray and He tells them how in Matthew 6:9. He instructs them to begin with 'Our Father'. Now things are really beginning to take shape. The words have changed from “My” to “Our”. Jesus is inviting the disciples to address God as He does, as Father.
For me growing up, I was in my own category regarding my perception of a father. I had 2 dads. No this was not a progressive house where I had two dads raising me. My parents divorced when I was very young, and both my parents remarried soon after. This gave me two dads, and in some regards two sets of issues to work through. Even though I had two fathers, I was still left with a longing for a father who really understood me and knew me. Both my fathers did their best, grew from their mistakes and we are all in a great relationship now. Overcoming some of my misconceptions of fatherhood took an encounter that happened in one day. This was from someone who barely knew me. This started the revealing of what a heavenly Father does and who He is.
That day in the pizza shop brought me face to face with something. What was released on that day through the monetary gift, was that my heavenly Father knows my needs. Even during suffering, whether internal or external, in this case both, He provided me a way to be healed. Now I am not saying that in every situation that we should wait for surprise money to come our way, but we should never disregard it. What was revealed to me that day, was God is a Father. I am forever grateful to
the individual who gave that gift, because of that generous gift, God became Father to me. This story is shared as often I can share it. You see, Jesus said in John 17:20, 'I do not ask only behalf of these alone, but also on behalf of those who believe in Me through their words.' I am a product of actions like this, and I pray that as I share my story that people would believe in the Jesus because of what He did in my life.
God revealed His Fatherhood in Jesus, and we like Jesus taught in Matthew 6, have the same Father. From there on, God was Father, but it seems that He always was, we just could not see it till now…