I have a great natural dad, but he can appear a bit off-putting when people first meet him because he is so big. He is tall, but he has a very large frame and huge chest. Many a boyfriend in my young life had second thoughts about me after meeting my daddy.
My daddy was very strict about my appearance as a teenager, and this often caused issues between us. And although both of my parents told us that we could talk to them about anything, the angst of being a teen created inevitable rifts between me and my daddy.
My parents have been pastors my whole life, and often this calling caused problems between us. I could not do the things that other kids did, and I sometimes acted out to show my displeasure at the perceived inequity.
The summer between ninth and tenth grade, my parents resigned our church in New England and prepared to move to the Eastern seaboard. I was not a happy teen. I didn’t want to leave my friends, my school, my church, my life. And, if memory serves, I told my parents exactly how I felt.
On one particular Sunday afternoon, the whole church had been invited over to a member’s house for a good-bye party. The house was crammed full of people. There was food to share as friends laughed and told their favorite memories of our time there. The smell of coffee floated through the whole apartment.
The teens had moved out to the porch where we sat close together, shoulders touching, watching people going to the beach. Then suddenly, the conversation changed. My friends began discussing me. First, it was just about my leaving and moving far away, but soon it turned to nasty, hateful comments about things they didn’t like about me but had never shared.
I sat for as long as I could, and then I jumped up and ran into the house. I don’t know what I was looking for inside, because there was no privacy anywhere. And then I saw him, my daddy. He was sitting in a recliner with a circle of men around him, talking and laughing. I don’t think I even had a second thought in that moment, I simply ran over to him. I had to be near someone strong, someone to protect me, someone who loved me.
He let me sit on the arm of the recliner for only a second before he drew me onto his lap. All conversation around us stopped as I buried my head in his shoulder and sobbed. He wrapped one arm around me and shielded my face with his huge hand, and with the other he patted my leg and began to rock the chair gently. Then he raised his eyes, and said, “I’m sorry, Mike, you were saying?”
What a picture we must have made! This half-woman, half-child sitting on a man’s lap as he rocked her like a baby. But I didn’t care at that moment what people thought of me or what I did. My heart was being broken, and I had to run to the only man I knew I could trust: my Daddy.
In Mark 14:36, Jesus prays, calling God “Abba, Father”, literally translated, “Daddy.” Then in Romans 8:15 & 16, the apostle Paul writes, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Paul is trying to help the Roman church and us to understand that God has given us a spirit of sonship and daughtership through Christ and His sacrifice on the cross, so we no longer need to be afraid to approach God with any need, any request, any fear, any triumph. Nothing is too big or small to bring to Him.
In Galatians 4:6, Paul states this concept again. “Because you are sons [and daughters], God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, you have the Spirit of God living within you, and when you pray, your Spirit cries out to God calling Him “Daddy!” What a concept!
I have people tell me that my friendship and relationship with God seems irreverent because I dare to call Him “Daddy”, or say that He is the “lover of my soul”, like He is my boyfriend or something. But He is! He thinks I’m beautiful (Ps. 45:11); I’m His friend (John 15:15); I am His masterpiece (Eph. 2:10); and as an heir to all that Christ has, I am a princess! (Rom. 8:17, Gal 4:7).
In the last few troubled weeks at my house, I have had to find time to crawl up in my Daddy God’s lap and cry through some things. I have poured out my emotions, even the truly ugly ones, I have tattled on people who hurt me, I have told Him my fears for the future. And through it all, He has rocked me in His big chair, listened and allowed me to gain new strength as He poured His Truth back in my heart.
If you don’t know my Daddy God like this, but you would like to, please contact me. I’d love to share Scripture with you, and reassure you that He wants to be Daddy God to you too. If you used to know Him in this way, but it has been a while, find time today to escape from the noise and confusion. Spend time just talking to Him today, and letting Him love on you. He’s waiting for you (Rev. 3:20).
In pursuit of zoe,