“I could more easily contain Niagra Falls in a teacup than I can comprehend the wild, uncontainable love of God (Abba…Daddy).”
Father’s Day is upon us. As expected, I’ve heard and seen much about fathers today at church and in the media. My kids gave their dad gifts, cards, and treats (that I made). I too, have reflected much on my own relationship with my dad and in general, the life he’s lived. Let me tell you, that’s a wonderful story to tell. However, I also took the time to read and meditate on what my heavenly Father, Abba, means to me.
Abba is Aramaic for daddy. An intimate name for father. One that a child would most likely use. God is my Abba. I know this because I relate more to the prodigal son than I do the great heroes of the Bible. See, “the emphasis of Christ’s parable is not on the sinfulness of the son but on the generosity of the father…In his brokenness, the repentant prodigal knew an intimacy with his father that his sinless, self-righteous brother would never know.” Abba knows my prodigal days all too well. The hard, rough, crooked roads I chose to take, that led me far away from home. In fact, I wonder if I’ve been the prodigal daughter more than once.
“Where sin abounded, grace has more abounded.”
“While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20) The father did not question him or lecture him. “The father took him back just as he was…Abba just wants us to show up.” So I showed up. And He wrapped His ever loving arms around me. No questions, no lecture, no guilt trip (I did that on my own). He knows my heart. ‘Cause he sorta made it. He knew the roads I took. The ones that ran in the opposite direction of His. My travels left me broken, bruised, unworthy, and unloved. Only One could heal my wounds…and bind my heart. If I let Him. Yes. It was time to take the road home. To Abba.
“The prodigal’s father said in effect, ‘Hush, child. I don’t need to know where you’ve been or what you’ve been up to’…The gospel of grace announces, forgiveness precedes repentance. The sinner is accepted before he pleads for mercy. It is already granted he need only receive it. Total amnesty. Gratuitous pardon.”
Did you get all that? ‘Cause I can hardy take that in. And that’s just it. Abba’s love and grace for me is not even comprehensible. I have lived in a world that punishes bad behavior. Not just once, but over and over again. I could do no right. “Love” became fearful, so I became hardened. And in time, I rebelled. After I had my fill and the sweet grew sour, I knew the crooked road was heading towards disaster. It was time to turn the wagon around. Thank God I knew Abba would always take me back. It was as if He whispered, “come as you are…my broken and weary child. I will lift you up from your muddy pit and set your feet upon the Rock. For not only am I the Lifter of you head, but I will make you soar. I will sing over you and give you a new song. But most of all…I love you. I have always loved you. Even when you stumbled, you never fell beyond my reach. And you never will. For you are mine, dear one. You are mine. I am your Comforter, your Rock, your Shield, and assuredly the true Lover of your soul. What can you do for me, you ask? Come to me. Just as you are.”
“The greatest gift any ragamuffin can receive from Jesus is the Abba experience. Jesus says we are to go to God with the unaffected simplicity of a child with his daddy…Crawl into Abba’s arms and let Him love on us.” I did. I did crawl into Abba’s arms. And He did, does, and will always love on me. His love for me is immeasurable. It’s forever. And ever. Amen. (nod to Randy Travis).
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) My absolute, all time, favorite passage. In fact, my dad read those verses at my baptism when I was in the 2nd grade.
“For you did not receive spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of sonship. And by him we cry ‘Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15). I am the daughter of the King. And He…is my Daddy.
*All quotes, except were indicated, came from Brennan Manning’s, The Ragamuffin Gospel, which I can’t recommend enough.