by Carolyn Hostetter

Most of us have our “known issues” with God.  The things we’re working on that stand out to us as hindrances to our walk with Christ or detractions from our faith.  Sometimes, we don’t even know we have an issue, but God (in His infinite wisdom and great love) tenderly brings them into our view so that He can get rid of them for us. 

Recently, He did that with me when I was reflecting over my view of Him as my Father. I became aware that I had an issue with calling God “Daddy.”  I felt I must be lacking some emotional connection with Him that I should have had.  I saw that other people could call God “Daddy” in a completely natural way.  But I felt strange doing that. I was disheartened that my discomfort with calling God “Daddy” made me feel bad and insecure in my relationship with Him.  I thought I must be missing something.  As I reflected on this further, I thought my feelings may have stemmed from the lack of a close relationship with my earthly father. Perhaps that was why I didn’t know how to relate with God, the Father, in a personal relationship.

I, like many other people, didn’t grow up in a close relationship with my earthly father.  My mother died when I was born. My brother and sister were 12 and 13 years old at that time and my father was not able to work and take care of them and a little newborn baby, too. So, my mother’s older sister, Beulah, and her husband, John, graciously took care of me. Daddy and my brother and sister lived outside of town and would come visit a couple of times a month.  I have fond memories of those visits.  And I always called him “daddy,” naturally.  My daddy was a Christian, and I’m sure he included me in all his prayers, just like he did my brother and sister.  But, the “normal” father/daughter relationship was not there.

As I began to pray about my problem God began to show me the truth and reality about who He is to me and who I am to Him.  I was reminded that God has already determined our relationship with Him by adopting us as sons and daughters into His Kingdom.  He is unchangeable and His love is pure.  He loves us one hundred percent fully and one hundred percent perfectly.  The moment we believe in Jesus Christ, we are immediately transformed by the Holy Spirit from estrangement into a personal, intimate union with God the Father. That was His original idea.  His love for me is not dependent on how or how much I love Him.  There is nothing I can do to make it worse or better.  It is what it already is – absolute and perfect.  I am His child, the object of His love and He loves me unconditionally.  He doesn’t just love me, He does all the loving.  I can only love Him back by accepting and living in His love and that makes me love Him even more.  I have to trust what He says in His Word and accept it simply. There is such a thing as over-thinking.

God has also soothed my heart and anchored my spirit by making me aware that He relates to each of His children differently and perfectly. Each relationship is different. Each child is different. He knows exactly what each of us needs in order to feel loved by Him. His relationship with me is special and unique, because I am special and unique! I’m the only person on earth who has my particular set of circumstances: past, present and future. God gave me a new identity based on my own individual circumstances. If my circumstances were different, I’d be somebody else. I want to be who God made me to be. Instead of hindering me in my relationship with Him, He uses it as a witness to give others encouragement and hope. 

God has solved my problem – seek and ye shall find.  I may not have had a close relationship with my earthly father, but I know that my Father in Heaven is the Ultimate Father. No earthly father could ever compare with Him. It would be so unfair to my daddy and me to try.  I probably still won’t call God “Daddy,” but that doesn’t affect my relationship with Him.  I’m comfortable knowing that He loves me just because I’m one of His children and I’m special.  Nothing can change that!

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. 1 John 3:1

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Part of Grace Church’s heart and mission is to inspire an awareness of the finished work of Christ. We are driven to help others deepen a renewed understanding of the finality of our Savior's sacrifice. As believers, we celebrate and share in the privilege of being an active and significant part of HIStory - The Jesus Narrative. We have been given a unique opportunity to share this narrative with others through insights of a grace engaged culture. Using powerful individual stories collected and woven together with the common thread of Christ, our hope is to display and honor the personal and ardent love that our Savior has for each of us.

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