Don’t you love how God loves to knock down the walls in our perfectly crafted little boxes? I like order. I like things to make sense, and, I think I’m realizing, I have held a very defined view of how things should be.
God does not often operate within these parameters.
I’ve been talking to the Lord about a few things for several months, and waiting on His answers. I was certain they were coming. I just needed to hunker down, listen close, and He would speak about those questions I had. Yet, he didn’t. He continued to be quiet.
Frustrated, I wondered, “What is God doing??” He had spoken to me through two prophetic words in the previous month or so that He was going to be “really fathering me” in this season, and so I thought, “Dad, where are you? I could use some guidance here!” Why had he promised a deeper level of fathering, then disappeared?
“Your ways are not my ways” (Isaiah 55:8, HCSB)
He reminded me that good fathering looks differently in every season by giving me a memory of my dad. My relationship with my dad looked differently in each stage of my life. When I was young he gave me strong guidance in most areas of my life because I needed it. As I grew, he began to allow to me to make some of my own decisions (and sometimes my own mistakes) because I also needed that. As I grew older and stepped into adulthood, I remember my dad more and more often saying, “What do you think?” and “What do you want to do?” when I went to him for advice on something. Looking back, I realized that in those moments, he was teaching me how to make my own decisions, and how to be confident in my ability to make those decisions.
I smiled with that memory, realizing that just as my dad, being a good father, related to me differently according to my needs in that particular season of life, so my Daddy God knows exactly what I need in any given moment and relates to me accordingly. What I had perceived as the Father “disappearing” on me, was actually Him giving me time and room to discover what was in my own heart.
I didn’t realize it immediately, but I soon discovered that God was in the process of dismantling some fears in my heart – fear of failure, fear of missing His will, fear of regret – and he was teaching me how to trust myself and the desires and dreams that He had already put in my heart. As I began step out in faith on those things, I have felt His quiet whisper steady my heart. Just a week ago, as I sat in the floor at the front row at church, He whispered,
“Do not fear, Beloved. We are moving forward together. You won’t miss me. I’m close.”
What a good Father He is – a Father who knows our needs, even when we don’t yet know them ourselves.
And just in case you want to join me in basking in His goodness, here’s a couple of my current favorite “Papa God” songs: