6.04.2007

God is fathering us



One of the most comforting ideas to me is that God sees me as a father sees his son. I've always liked the verses that talked about God being the Father but everything really clicked once my sons were born. All those verses became even clearer to me.

My love for my sons is not based on what they do. It is not is not based on how they look. It is not based on how they act. It is not based on what they know.
My love for my sons is based on who they are. They are my sons.

That is why it is comforting to me that God calls me son.

There are many times where a situation, or a conversation with my boys triggers a thought about another aspect of the fatherhood of God and how He relates to us.
The other day Obadiah and Malachi were talking about an event in the recent past and Malachi was having a hard time expressing his thoughts. He doesn't yet understand the concept of "yesterday". To Malachi, yesterday means some point in the past and tomorrow means some point in the future. He doesn't yet understand that yesterday actually means the day before today. Obadiah on the other hand is a recent graduate of Mrs. Hughes Kindergarten class and is looking forward to expanding his academic career in the first grade. He's got it all figured out. This is the conversation I overheard:

Malachi: "Obadiah, you remember yesterday when we were watching the show on dinosaurs?
Obadiah: "Malachi, that was like a week ago."
Malachi: "Yeah, I know... yesterday"
Obadiah: "No, you don't get it."
Malachi: (confused look, shrugging shoulders)
Obadiah: "Let's see, how can I explain this to you?"
Malachi: (listening intently, wanting to learn)
Obadiah: "OK, first of all... There are seven days in a month..."

That's all I heard of the conversation. I had to duck around the corner before I started laughing out loud. Later as I thought about this conversation I thought about how God must think of us sometimes. I can imagine God sitting back listening to us talk to each other. Maybe when we're discussing theology, or the meaning of life, and then one of us who feels like maybe we have it just a little bit more together than our peers offers our opinion. Then God has a little giggle and says to himself, "Oh, that's precious. They think they've got it figured out."

You see, when Obadiah incorrectly taught his little brother how many days were in a month I didn't love him less. I didn't jump in and tell him how wrong he was. I didn't think he was dumb for making that mistake. I just smiled, and I was happy that they were even trying to learn at all.
I think God sees us this way. I don't think He's worried that we'll never figure it out. I don't think He dislikes us as we stumble through life, trying our best. I doubt that He thinks we're stupid when we make mistakes. Kids do that... they make mistakes.

Fathers love them anyway.

5 comments:

sheri-baby said...

I saw from my husband's blog - primal experiment - that you are from Santa Clara CA. . .I grew up in San Jose. It is a small world. . .

Just a girl.... said...

When you told us about this concept tonight, you made me laugh. But you know what else? You made me happy. I know I don't have it all figured out. But I also know how I feel about my own children, even when they're way off base. I love them. I love them more than anything. And it's always nice to be reminded that our Father feels the same way for us as we do for our children.....except a million times more.

Thanks for the reminder.

Dan Price said...

Jimmy, we've had a couple of bad batches of beer too, don't let that discourage you. It's all a learning process!

Katie said...

precious and beautiful. thank you

Linda said...

hey jimmy,
i was talking to a friend about what it means for God to have compassion-and how that comes from love, ect..and in that conversation i ended up telling this story. thanks for sharing it. i love your story and i love that you are apart of mine!

see you soon!