The heart of the Father is expressed beautifully by this blog written by Siete Hicks. Be blessed as you hear Abba’s voice of healing love through it.
Almost three years ago today I wrote a post talking about how I was fatherless by choice. The post ended with me asking God to give me the strength to open the doors to my heart and let Him reveal Himself as a Father.
Well…up until about a week ago, I was still keeping Him at arm’s length. I wanted to believe He was a good Father, but how do you believe someone is good when they’ve taken so much from you? And how do you accept someone as a father when you haven’t seen that side of them and just want the dad you had back?
I had finally gained peace about my earthly father’s death and could see how God worked through that, and I could see God’s different attributes and declare them good, but His being a Father was still something I struggled with and quite frankly didn’t want to experience since I had already determined He wasn’t a good Father. A little piece of my heart still resented Him, but it hid the resentment well.
Also three years ago, I was signed up to go on a mission trip to South Africa that COVID-19 ended up canceling, and I took the opportunity to add that to my list of things God had taken from me. Then later that year was when I decided that I was going to wrestle with God. And I did. I yelled, I screamed, and I even tried to run away at one point. It was exhausting in every way possible, and it hurt as I worked through my pain, but it was encouraging as I looked back and realized how God was reshaping and restoring me.
In the end, I was grateful I didn’t go to South Africa because there was no way I could’ve been a blessing to others and be blessed myself by the trip with all the unresolved feelings I had towards God.
Fast forward to the present day…Yesterday I got back from that trip I was supposed to go on three years ago. I flew there curious why God was allowing me to go years later, and I flew back so much more healed in my understanding of Him. God had given me a glimpse of who He was when I wrestled with Him the first time, but this trip…this was about Him showing me specifically who He was as a Father because that was His attribute I still struggled to understand, and accept.
I went to South Africa and I saw Him. I saw Him in extreme brokenness and heartache. I walked among people whose lives could not be any more chaotic, and yet there was proof everywhere of God being a good Father. These people’s lives had been shattered, and yet they still called God good and found Him worthy to be praised.
These people had so little, and yet there was proof of God being a provider.
These people lived among violence and chaos, and yet there was proof of God bringing peace to their lives.
These people…had experienced so much heartache, and yet there was proof of a Father loving His children so deeply.
There’s a song called “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin. This past week was the first time I was able to sing that song. Every time I heard that song so much anger and resentment would stir in my heart and I literally could not physically get myself to even mouth those words. And now…now I have tasted and seen that God is good.
During one of our outreach days, I was holding a little girl who lived in a community controlled by gangs; a community where violence happened on a regular basis. I had never met this girl, as she wasn’t in the class I was helping with and had picked her up after a boy had come and shoved her down on the ground.
After talking with the boy and making sure there were no tears, I asked if she wanted me to put her down so she could play, but she clung to me even tighter and refused to be set down. So I stayed put and cherished the fact I was holding a little girl whose story I didn’t know; who simply just wanted to stay in my arms and be loved. So there we stood with her face buried in my neck, and her arms and legs wrapped around my body. She then suddenly pulled away, looked at me, then put her forehead against mine, and closed her eyes. As I closed my eyes, I felt a peace settling over us and the chaos around us stilled. The harsh wind softened, and in that moment I felt how much God loved this little girl whose name I didn’t even know, and in turn how much He loved me. As a Father. He was showing me what His fatherly love felt like. I felt Him tell the resentment in my heart to leave, and relief washed over me as the weight I carried for so long was finally taken away. My heart finally understood and accepted the Fatherly attribute of God.
If I had gone to South Africa three years ago, I wouldn’t have gone to the same part of the country, and I wouldn’t have met the people who poured into my life for the past week and showed me God’s heart. God DID want me to go on this trip. He didn’t take anything away from me, but He had me wait until I was spiritually ready, and until I would be able to go where He wanted me to be. God will never stop chasing and showing you who He is. He will seek you out and prove Himself to you. He is a good, good Father, He is perfect in all of His ways, and He is perfect in His timing.
“But you, O God, are both tender and kind, not easily angered, immense in love, and you never, never quit.” (Ps. 86:15 MSG)
“Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see how good God is. Blessed are you who run to Him.” (Ps. 34:8 MSG)
“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who He is or what He’s up to.” (1 Jn. 3:8 MSG)