I am a mom of three boys.
My husband is the father of these same three boys.
Our house shows the muddy footprints, peanut butter handprints and (insert deep breath here) bugger trails of these same three nugget-digging brothers. Our three boys keep us moving, always have me guessing and constantly serving as Gods messengers to me throughout my crazy day.
The three Boring amigos recently started a new tradition. Our youngest at 18 months, is leaping through this climbing phase that actually started as soon as he could crawl. As soon as a door opens, he grips his fingers onto the couch located just a few feet away from our living room window, conveniently overlooking the driveway. As his little body shakes, hoists, grunts and flips into position, whoever is coming or going meets his eyes – two wide pupils that scream “I see you…yes, YOU there and you know what? I WANT you! I WANT you right NOW!”
Thus, those eventful days that daddy makes his way out the door for work, this new tradition has unfolded. Daddy grabs his shoes and our soldiers start to prepare. Daddy grabs his keys – all three soldiers are huddled in the living room. Daddy says “goodbye” and all three gentlemen may decide to acknowledge his departure. But then the moment arrives – the front door clicks shut. The feet move, the groans echo, the three boys fight to hoist their bodies to the highest position of the couch just to spread open the blinds wide enough for the edges of their faces to peek through. Why? Because they want to watch their daddy leave. They feel their daddy’s love as he meets his eyes with theirs. They smile and that moment, as short as it may seem, because it is exactly what they need – all of my guys – daddy included. They are defined by this loving relationship.
“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.”
― Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging
My boys feel love from their father and myself (their mother). They will climb the highest couch just for that split-second of eye acknowledgement. They identify themselves as our kids…our dearly beloved kids. In fact, if you were to ask our boys how much daddy and mommy love them, they would outstretch their arms as wide as they possibly could and say “This much.” Because we not only taught them about this type of love – we intentionally introduce them daily to our Abba, our endless source for this type of unconditional love. His love fuels our love.
I realize wholeheartedly that equating this pure, loving, Creator God with this title of “Abba” (which means “Daddy”) frankly doesn’t sit well with some people. I don’t know the deepness of the relationship between you and your earthly father. I realize for some, the idea of a loving father seems so far fetched. I don’t know what anger, bitterness, rejection and even shame comes to mind when you hear “Daddy.” But I’m not here to solve all of these feelings. No. I’m sharing not only this amazing relationship God longs to have with you as you are right now – His child – but that He can redefine all of these feelings that take your breath away on a daily basis.
You see friend, God has been and will always be Abba. He wants to lavish His love on His children. In fact, His promise is written out pretty clearly:
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:4, 5 NLT)
Can you hear Abba whispering His promise to you, His child, through this verse? Sometimes as I read, I forget that these words here in the Bible are so much more than just letters for the early church. No, these are promises to us, in this very moment. These are Truths, whispers from our Abba directly to His children to cling onto and take root in your heart.
Let’s allow this whisper to echo through our hearts today. My whisper looks like this:
Even before I made the world, I loved you Bethany, and chose you in Christ to be holy and without fault in My eyes. I decided in advance to adopt you into My family by bringing you to Myself through Jesus Christ. This is what I wanted to do, and it gives Me great pleasure. (Ephesians 1:4, 5 NLT)
Can you write this out? Can you pull this out in times you feel completely abandoned and alone?
Your identity is rooted on who you believe you are in the very depths of your soul. The world may try it’s best to mold me into their worthless definitions, but I will never feel as accepted as I am when I rest in the arms of my Abba.
Have you exchanged glances with your Abba today? Don’t miss this opportunity to peek your head between the blinds of the chaos of your day and hear Him whisper Truth to your soul. And by the way…our Abba never leaves us…so feel free to look into His eyes anytime.
…Wishing His eyes could help me clean this goldfish cracker trail about now! Keep looking. Keep listening. Keep smiling!