Today the Lord reminded me to call him “Father”.
I was driving to meet a friend for a play date, trying to find the answers to my heart being so tired, worn out and generally tending toward negative. I could see it clearly and wanted to “fix” it. I knew that I should have grace and love “flowing out of me” from a heart satisfied and loved by my Savior. But how the heck does one “do” that. It certainly wasn’t happening for me in this moment. After a long day of ‘ministry’ activities, where I was hit by sin, gossip, harshness and hardheartedness I was encountering in others… knowing that if God has called me to do ministry for the rest of my days, that I would need to be able to handle all of this and keep my hope and joy in Christ …. But today I was not feeling it.
I was asking God to help me. I knew that if I didn’t get a handle on all this, I could soon become like those in Tripp’s book Dangerous Calling that give up! I wanted a heart that sees good and not just mistakes. See potential, rather than problems.
I had hoped I would see Jesus’ face in the Church more often. I knew that I had seen him in His Body… but I was having a hard time looking past the all the rest of the crap. My heart was frustrated and loosing perspective.
In a blog I have begun to enjoy describes the difference between loving the universal and local Church:
“On the other hand you have the local church. It’s filled with people. Actual people who say dumbass things. Who manipulate out of their aspirations and desires. Who all to often hurt others and fail to embody love. It’s much more difficult to love this church. But you can’t love the universal church and not love a local church. Loving church means loving people, not an idea. And loving people means loving them when it hurts you to do so. Sharing in Christ’s sufferings is a brutal reality when you work to love actual human beings.”
See more at here.
I knew the problem and I wanted to fix it.
In the middle of my babbling at God about all of this, what came out of my mouth was “Father”…
All of a sudden, emotions rushed over me.
I desperately needing my father. What Romans 8:15 calls, “Abba! Father”. I am a child. I am in need of unconditional, care of a loving father. I need to be listened to. I need to be taken care of. I need my wounds tended to.
I cannot heal myself. Jesus blood is my healing. His forgiveness gives me access to God’s unconditional love. . . his saving grace which makes me free.
And I have collected my fair share of wounds. From other Christians, family and friends. Only at the cross can they be reconciled, completely and utterly wiped clean. I am being made new each day by the tender hands of my Father. Sometimes I need to get hurt in order for my Father to teach me something. Other times, I fall down and my daddy just wants to hold me as I cry. I have not known an earthly Father like this, but I do know my heavenly Father is one who loves me. Who cares for my every needs, and wipes away my tears.
I am convinced, this is the only way I can survive the pain that comes from loving a broken Church, my hurting neighbor is by staying as close I can to the loving, compassionate and gracious Father who did everything so that He could be with ME?!
Crazy, awesome grace.