My relationship with my father has always been a tricky one. Yes, there is love. But also inconsistency. Yes, there has been pride in my accomplishments. But also the need to prove my worth. Above all, as a pastor, there is pressure. Pressure to get it right; pressure to forgive and reconcile and move on with everything picture perfect. It’s definitely impacted my relationship with God. I cringe whenever I pray, “Our Father….” I feel guilty and disconnected. I keep wondering what it is that I need to do to make God happy – a proud Father.
As I have journeyed with this over the years I hadn’t actually realised quite how far I’d come: how the sense of my belovedness has snuck up on me and started changing me from the inside out.
It was with great joy and wonder that as I read the words from Romans 8:15 “And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father,” God, as Daddy, suddenly made sense to me:
Daddy, I need you to simply sit beside me tonight.
I need to feel the warmth of your presence
and to know that I can rest safely in your mighty arms.
I need you to pull me close
and whisper words of love and assurance into my heart.
I need to know that despite my faults and mistakes,
I remain precious in your eyes
and that you love me simply because I am yours.
Hold me until I feel safe.
Hold me until I am healed.
Hold me until I know love.
Hold me until I see where I truly belong –
ever, always, on your lap and in your arms.