Hi Friends :)
I've decided that this month's blog posts will focus on our Father.
Don't get me wrong. I love Jesus, and I love the Holy Spirit. But I have found that our Father is often overlooked, or at least, misunderstood. So in an attempt to reveal the kind and loving Heart of our Father, this month is dedicated to Him.
This past weekend (October 8th), I shared a message with Cross of Christ about Relationships. The central theme focused on Jesus revealing the relational Heart of our Father through conversation, connection, and community. We, as followers of Jesus, are then empowered with the Holy Spirit to reveal the Heart of Jesus in the ways we relate with others. I shared the story below in an effort to highlight and illustrate the kind of relationship our Father has with us:
"There was once an elderly man dying of cancer. He was not a praying man, but at the end of his life, his curiosity was stirred, so he asked a close friend how to pray. His friend said, "It's simple. Set up an empty chair next to your bed. In faith, imagine your Heavenly Father sitting there and simply pour out your heart to Him. Be honest and open with Him. Simply talk with Him." The man shrugged, and since he didn't have anything to lose, he set up an empty chair and poured out his heart to his Father every day until the cancer stole his last breath. After he died, the man's daughter visited the local priest and asked him to come and minister to her and her family. The priest readily agreed and followed the young lady to her deceased father's home where the rest of their family was waiting. The priest blessed the family, comforted them, listened to them, and mourned with them. After some time, each member of the family went home until only the priest and the deceased man's daughter remained. As the priest turned to leave, the young lady stopped him dead in his tracks:
"Father, I need to share something bizarre and strange with you."
"I'm listening," replied the priest.
"Well sir, when I found my Dad, he was kneeling at the foot of an empty chair by his bed. His head was resting on the cushion of the chair, and his palms were open, facing upward."
This isn't bizarre or strange.
This is the kind of relationship our Father has entered into with us.
Wherever you come from, He invites you to climb into His arms, rest your weary head upon His chest, and listen to His heartbeat. He beckons you to come to Him - to draw near - and rest in His embrace. He calls you to be honest and open with Him, to pour out your heart, and trust that He is good and has your best interests in mind. He doesn't flinch or become frustrated when you fall asleep in His arms. Not at all. He is simply happy to hold you and shower you in His all-consuming love.
Deuteronomy 33:12 illustrates this reality beautifully: “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders" (NIV).
You are your Father's beloved child.
You are secure in His love.
He defends, protects, and shields you all day long.
And you, beloved of your Father, are at home upon His Heart.
Do you feel abandoned, marginalized, & rejected? His Heart is your home.
Have you experienced abuse, attack, & opposition? His Heart is your home.
Are you an addict, criminal, or outcast? His Heart is your home.
Are you bedraggled, beat up, & broken? His Heart is your home.
Are you lonely, ostracized, & misunderstood? His Heart is your home.
Do you hurt? Are you sad? Stuck? His Heart is your home.
Is there a cry clinging to your throat?
A longing hidden deep within your soul?
Does depression, despair, and darkness shroud you more than sunlight?
His Heart is your home.
A wise man once said: "Prayer is simply resting in the reality that our Father delights in us and loves us."
Rest in the delight and love of your Father this week, beloved.
Relax in His arms and know that you are secure in His presence.
He holds you close to His Heart - in an eternal embrace.
In the words of the young poet, Casey Kosberg, "He will never let you go."
His Heart is your home.