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The Perfect Father



“You have also given me the shield of your salvation; your gentleness has made me great.” 2 Samuel 22:36 "Your gentleness…" Many of us grew up under a harsh or hateful father. When a father humiliates a child, or is harsh toward him, or puts too much pressure on him/her, oftentimes it will cause the child to rebel and to live in resentment and hatred. Then that rebellion will be the source of all kinds of troubles down the road, and can end in destruction. Not so the Lord. He is the perfect parent. When a person surrenders his life to him, the Lord begins a work in him of transformation. Sometimes that will seem hard, but there’s never anything hard without a reason meant to bring one to perfect spiritual health. A harsh human father never brings health. But God our Father knows exactly how to reach a person. He knows exactly how to bring him/her to health. Our whole concept of God is oftentimes formed from the image we have of our human father because to a growing child, his father is as God to him. If our human father was harsh and rejecting, then we expect God to be that way. If all he has known is hardness, then that’s what he will expect from God. In fact, sometimes a person will stay away from God for this reason, because of a faulty idea of what God is like, harsh and unrelenting, destroying rather than nurturing. From the beginning of one’s walk with the Lord, he will marvel at God’s gentleness. When a person realizes his sin, his own warped personality, and then encounters the gentleness of the Lord, it’s very surprising, because he is used to expecting rejection and harshness. It can take many years to unlearn the traits we developed in the past, and to feel and know and accept the love of God. It can take a long time to understand that he truly does love us, and to trust him even when he applies discipline. The Lord does not spare his people from the sorrows of the world, but he walks through them with us, and he actually uses them to mature us and to lead us to discover the great love he has for each one. It has to be experienced to be understood. An unbeliever has no idea of the love of the Father, and goes on in his own “wisdom,” demanding to “do it MY way.” And that is sad, because it will never bring him happiness. Momentary pleasure is all he can expect. On the other hand, the one who has surrendered his life to the Lord will be continually led upwards and will find the very desires of his heart realized – not from his efforts, but from the goodwill of the perfect Father whose plan for his child includes all that fosters health and goodness. He knows each one, he is the One who has made each one unique, and will bring him to the potential he has placed within him, for he is the One who has put within us even the natural desires of our hearts. He will satisfy those desires the right way, in the way that will bring true satisfaction and wholeness. If you have been crushed by life, if you grew up under the harshness of a human father, come to the real Father who brought you into the world and surrender your life to him. You will find him to be the perfect Father who truly, truly loves you and knows how to nurture you and bring you to health. “‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,’ says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.'” Jeremiah 29:11