I had a fascinating day recently on a training course I’m doing where we were encouraged to think through our images of God. The main thrust of this was that if we are going to encourage and walk with others in their faith, we need to have a good understanding of where we are coming from ourselves.
Like many people in this generation, I am, in a sense, fumbling around in the dark for a picture of God the Father having had a less than positive experience of ‘father’s’ growing up. This has also meant that I’ve been making up my own father roll as I’ve been going along.
For me, I’ve had to work on understanding the Father. I can see him clearly in Jesus, and I’m thankful for that revelation of the Father in him. Jesus shows me the Father’s grace and compassion for his children, even the least of his children. He shows me the Father’s love. He shows me the Father’s discipline too. It is beautiful to watch the footsteps of Jesus through 1st C Israel and see the Father’s wisdom being shown and expounded, teaching that has yet to be improved on for living the human life fully.
Yet, there is one of my own human experiences that just gives me a little glimpse into the heart of the Father: all those times I’ve dropped my children at the school gate and the sense of love and pride that wells up as I watch them run off to begin their day as they build their lives. They’re often unaware I’m watching out for them, casting an eye over them, they are thinking about their task and the interaction they get on with. There is nothing quite like the feeling of knowing that to whatever situation I step into, my Father watches with pride and love, and with joy in me, His son.
This simply transforms how we see ‘the other.’ God looks over us with the same love and compassion, wanting the very best for his children.
Father, Son, Holy Spirit: One in Three, Three in One. This is my God.