Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Recently my pastor had a baby daughter named Eden. (Yes, like the garden of Eden.) I think she is three years old now, and she is the cutest bundle of flesh and bones I have ever seen. She sports an awkward bowl cut and has pale pink lips that always seem to form themselves into a pout. Often her hands are filled with food or someone else's iPhone playing a re-run of Blues Clues. Eden is a ball of sass and baby fat, and she knows how to use all of it to charm her way into whatever she wants — usually it's food or Blues Clues.

If you want her to like you, you must play hard-to-get. Hugs and kisses must never, ever be freely or easily given. She'll smell your eagerness a sanctuary away and use it against you. I learned that the hard way.

Some Sundays I'll arrive and see that she is just having an awful morning. Her cheeks are stained with dried tears and her fists are clenched tightly. Temper tantrums, they call it. She'll shoot an evil glare your way if you even just look at her the wrong way. On those days, even Blues Clues and candy can't bring her to a smile. The only thing that really seems to work is when her dad picks her up and holds her in his arms, slowly rocking side to side. 

There was one Sunday when I witnessed that exact moment and it was something so intimate and biblical it stayed with me for weeks. Her dad bent down and swooped her up from the ground and into his arms, and I saw the physical transformation take place as her frown was immediately replaced with a content grin. It was as if he scooped her out of her complete angsts and misery in exchange for fresh air and warmth. She knew she was safe in her father's arms. She felt comfortable, whole, and good

That moment stayed with me because it was true for all of us. Something magical happens when we know we are in our father's arms. Comfort, safety, and peace come to mind. 

Now I know father analogies are always tricky because a lot of us don't have great relationships with our dads nor do we want to compare God to our dads. We live in a broken and fatherless generation. But God made us with the innate need and desire to be accepted by our dad, maybe not our worldly dad, but our Father almighty. And this is our story, too.

Proximity is our constant urge to be closet to Dad, to touch his beard and to hold his attention. It is a primal desire that we never outgrow. More than doing and performing, we long to be near him. — Kevin DeShazo
In Romans, Paul reminds us that we have been adopted as children of God. We are heirs of his kingdom. And the different groans in our hearts -- frustrations, sadness, anger, confusion -- are all heard by a God who also desperately wants to reach out and scoop us out of our own misery. We were never made to hustle, we were made to be held in his arms. Abba, father. The father's arms are always wide open. Today, I dare you to take a risk and believe that to be true, and run into the set of arms that offer relief and comfort. A place where you can close your eyes and replace that frown for fresh air and contentment. 
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[a]And by him we cry, “Abba,[b] Father.” Romans 8:15

*Find the entire series here. 


  1. Love this post. God is the ultimate Father figure in our lives. My earthly dad failed at being a Father to me but his absence was what I need to allow God to come back in and fill his role. I am grateful for the change of perspective that I needed a father and he is God. This is a sweet post and a wonderful reminder of who cares for us.

    1. Charity —

      thanks so much for reading and commenting. (: it means the world to me that these words of mine can touch and relate to someone else, too.

      i think that's so great that you've arrived at all these different truths about God... and that is so encouraging to hear that you let Him fill His role as a Father. :) thank you so much for sharing that! What a wonderful and perfect Father you and I both have.

  2. loved this - seriously.
    very well worded - beautifully thought out - and deep biblical meaning.
    I've noticed this as well when i'm around children and their fathers - and it had the same impact on me.
    thanks for reminding me of this, I definitely needed to read it today.

    1. amy —

      thanks for always being such a support and encouragement to this blog of mine! (: you are one beautiful, beautiful sister.

      children definitely do have that ability to tug on our heart strings, hehe. have a wonderful Thursday!


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