Tag Archives: Father

Papa Daddy


Most of my time is spent taking care of people who are under the age of ten – infants, toddlers, young children.  (I’m a nanny, a babysitter, the oldest cousin in my family, a big sister to a precious four-year-old – I’ve always had kids around me and hope I always do!)  The thing that is always consistent among children is that they always have just one more need, one more want.  “Just one more, please” are words I hear all the time.  Just one more.  Will I sing one more song?  Give one more kiss to a scraped knee?  Read one more book before bed?  Hold you close for one more moment?  Tickle you once more or play with you at the park?  Answer one more curious inquiry?  And then, of course, there are the other tasks that come with having small children in one’s care.  Will I clean one more sticky face?  Wipe up one more spilled glass of milk?  Settle one more squabble and soothe one more sorrow?  Prepare one more meal?  Do one more of the seemingly endless loads of laundry?  Give one more reminder to “use kind words” or to be careful near fragile objects?  So many needs, these endless “one mores” that kids have.

A couple weeks ago I’d had a particularly long week, having been at one house or another each day for late nights, early mornings, and even overnight stays to take care of different families’ kids.  Just prior to bedtime on Saturday, I could sense the exasperation creeping into my tone of voice.  Particularly, I didn’t want to kiss another imagined “owie” (we were having a dramatic evening), but I did it anyway.  By the time I had everyone settled for the night, I had regained my calm.  As I rocked the youngest one to sleep, she snuggled into me and, as she drifted off, sleepily begged for one more song.  Why not?  So, while singing “Jesus Loves Me” – her favorite song – “just one more time,” I admired her sweet self, so perfectly content and relaxed in her sleep.  And I was suddenly overwhelmed by the love of my Heavenly Father.

Our Heavenly Father is never exasperated by us.

To all you parents, including my own: thank you for loving and caring for your children so faithfully, for every "one more" you've tended to! (Photo: my Papa holding my cousin, Isaac, his 8th grandbaby)

To all you parents, including my own: thank you for loving and caring for your children so faithfully, for every “one more” you’ve tended to! (Photo: my Papa holding my cousin, Isaac, his 8th grandbaby)

Your needs, your wants, your mishaps and unintentional bumblings, your hopes and dreams, your hurts – real or imagined – are all important to Him because you are important to Him.  Even the most loving parents and caretakers are exasperated at times – but our Father never is.  You are never “too much” or “not enough.”  You can never be too needy for God.  He is never put out by your neediness; He is not upset by your humanity.  He is not burdened with your care.  It is His pleasure to meet your needs because you are His pleasure.

I think there is a part of us that is always childlike.  Deep within ourselves, we crave the love and acceptance of a parent – and the only One who can perfectly satisfy these longings is our Heavenly Father.  As life goes on, our bumblings and ponderings become more sophisticated, our wounds become more complex than a scraped knee, and our desires and dreams become more expansive.  We grow older, but we will never outgrow our need for our Father to love us, to hold us, to come for usAnd it is His delight to care for us.

Sometimes we miss just how intimately and intricately the Father’s heart is displayed throughout Scripture.  While there are endless revelations to be gleaned from the Scriptures, the living and active words of God (Heb. 4:11), I am going to present a few truths with corresponding verses.  And, actually, if only for the fact that many people can’t see a loving God the Father presented in the Old Testament, I am going to take most of these bits from there.  As you read, focus on how they highlight the Father-Heart of God, His deep and relentless care for you, His precious child.  Perhaps you had loving parents as an example; perhaps you did not.  Perhaps there was someone else in your life who provided protection and nurture.  The truth is, that whether you had fitting examples or wretched examples, God is nothing but good – and He alone is the true Goodness.  He is a good, good Father, perfect in all of His ways – and I say that with utter certainty and without a hint of irony.

Your Heavenly Father wants you to run to His strong arms, to hold you close awhile longer.  You cannot and will not escape the loving embrace and watchful care of the One know alone knows you completely.

  • “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” – Deut. 33:27
  • “O Lord, you have searched me and known me….You understand my thought afar off.  You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.  For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.” – Ps. 139:1, 2-3

He longs for you to let Him come to your rescue.  He wants to sing you “one more song” and whisper His words of love over you.  You are not a disappointment to Him – ever.  He delights in you – always.

  • “The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zeph. 3:17
  • “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God!” – 1 Jn. 3:1
Be they great or "small," no wound is beneath His attention.

Be they great or “small,” no wound is beneath His attention.

He cares about your wounds, your sorrows and your disappointments.  He wants to “kiss your owies,” big or small, real or perceived, and heal all your wounds – even the ones that are incurable and impossible.  He is a Gentle Healer, whether your wounds are self-inflicted or came at the hands (or words) of others.

  • ‘“For thus says the Lord, ‘Your affliction is incurable, your wound is severe .  There is no one to plead your cause, that you may be bound up.  You have no healing medicines….I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds…’”’ – Jer. 30:12-13, 17
  • “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – Jn. 3:16

Because you are His precious child and He loves you, He won’t let you go without correction.  (Isn’t that beautiful?)  There is nothing you do that is unknown to Him – there’s no need to hide or worry about getting caught, because He already knows.  And more than that, He cares about you enough to discipline you and train you in righteousness.

  • “…do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction.  For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father [does for] the son in whom He delights.” – Pro. 3:11-12
  • If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?….no chastening seems enjoyable for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” – Heb. 12:7, 11

lion and cubCan you fathom such a love, this Father-Love of our good God?  And there is so much, much more that could be said about this limitless Love.  My little sister likes to call our grandfathers (or any older man whom she perceives to be like a grandpa) “Papa,” and “Daddy” has always been what we called our dad.  She enjoys combining these terms into one all-encompassing name: Papa Daddy.  There is something precious and tender about this name; it speaks to the desire of a father’s heart to protect and provide.  That is what a good father does – that is what our Good Father does.  Did you know that God wants to be your Papa Daddy?  All the good daddy things I mentioned above, all the verses I shared, He wants to do and be for you.  You are precious to Him.  You are His child, and He delights in you because you are His

My friends, I will say again: our Papa Daddy is never annoyed by us.  Even the most devoted parents grow weary at times, but He never does.  His lap is always available, and His arms are always safe.  He is always ready to sing you one more song.  He is always ready to wash the dirt off and pick you up again.  He wants you in your neediness, your crying, your laughing, your asking, your yearning – He wants you in every state.  Don’t let your need keep you distant; let it draw you deeper into the Love of your Papa Daddy.

Good to Me


Children live so exuberantly, full of wonder and intense emotion.  A couple weeks ago, as I served supper and sat down at the table with my family, Aviya repeatedly exclaimed to me, “Oh my Honey, you make the best quiche in the whole world!”  (And how could I argue with the truth?)  In addition to enjoying caring for my own sweet sister, I also do a lot of babysitting over the summer and get to hear all sorts of wonderfully precious things.  I must admit that having kids say, “When are you coming again?  It’s our favorite when you come to watch us” was one of those heart-melting moments for me.  It delights me to delight the children in my care.

What I truly enjoy most about children is that they simply accept kindness; they don’t question the good things that come their way but rather receive happily.  And I find myself wishing that we, as God’s children, would do the same with the good things He provides.

Instead, we lose our confidence in seeing goodness and experiencing kindness – we think they are rarities, if not impossibilities.  Perhaps this is true among people, but it is false in regard to our heavenly Father: He is the very definition of goodness.

“Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!  For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” – Psalm 107:8-9 KJV

Every good thing comes from my Father's hand.

Every good thing comes from my Father’s hand.

I was recently explaining to someone my perspective: God’s goodness is always at work, and I see His mark on every good thing that is in my life.  Because of this, I live a life that overflows with thankfulness.  I can confidently say, to anyone and at any time, that my life is amazing and that I am incomparably blessed.  I am always thanking the Lord for big things as well as small, all of which are part of the gracious and lavish outpouring of His goodness.  I feel blessed when I spend time with my amazing family, and I feel just as blessed when I find a tiny flower blooming while I am on a walk.  But how can I equate the blessing of something as simple as a flower with that of a loving family?  Because the “things” aren’t actually what is “good.”  I look at every sweet thing in my life as just another manifestation of God’s goodness toward me.  Thus, if I lose any one of these things, I am not obligated to doubt God’s goodness because I “realize” (know) that the thing is not God’s goodness.  God’s goodness is not limited to the things we call “good” – His goodness is who He is!

After attempting to explain all this, the patronizing rebuttal I received was that sometimes “good things just happen.”  In other cases I have had people say, in sorrow-laden tones that tear at my heart, “I wish I could believe that, but I have seen too much of the world.”  Yes, perhaps they have seen too much of the world – too much of the world and not enough of the One who created it, who holds all eternity in His gentle, capable hands.

Unfortunately, we often see our blessings – relationships, possessions, positions – as being the sign that God’s favor and goodness are real, rather than seeing them as just another piece of evidence the reveals that God is good.  When we do this, we are actually worshipping the things – the stuff of life – as being “good” rather than worshipping the good Father who gives them.  We mistakenly cling tightly to these things because we think that if we don’t have these “good” things, we are not experiencing God’s goodness.

When I talk about God’s goodness and my thankfulness, I am not espousing a mere feeling or notion – and it is more even than an ideology.  It is my lifestyle – I can’t live my life any other way except in awe of His continual goodness.  

But how can I truthfully always claim that my life is “amazing” and that I am “incomparably blessed”?  Is it because I have had a breezy, happy Christian life in which nothing ever goes wrong?  Not at all.  Rather, my life is ever-beautiful because I know who my Father is, and my Father is good.  It breaks my heart when people fail to see God’s goodness toward them, because their lives will always feel inexplicably empty.  When we do not accurately behold the goodness of our God, nothing will ever seem as lovely or whole as it should be.  This is because there is truth that runs deeper than the lack-luster, life-just-happens façade that the world presents us with:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
– James 1:17 NKJV, emphasis mine

Think about it: a shadow sometimes seems to move before you move -- a nearly-imperceptible movement would shift this shadow -- but our good Heavenly Father doesn't change even that much.

Think about it: a shadow sometimes seems to move before you move — a nearly-imperceptible movement would shift this shadow — but our good Heavenly Father doesn’t change even that much.

It is neither naïve nor self-deceptive to believe that all good things come from my Father’s hand, for according to Scripture, they truly do come from Him.  Interestingly, this statement is made by James, who was possibly the most practical, down-to-earth New Testament writer.  James wasted no words to bring a firm message to his readers.  The verses prior to James 1:17 explain that evil is born of sinful human desires – God neither tempts us nor visits evil upon us.  God cannot, for it is not His nature, and He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). In verse 16 James gives an interesting plea-command: “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.”  There is some scholarly debate about whether this applies to the verses about man’s sinful desires or the verse about God’s goodness, but I rather think it is both: do not be deceived about your sinful nature and God’s good nature!  Don’t be confused, thinking that any evil comes from God, who is the Giver of every good thing!  You see, James was not writing in an emotional high nor penning lofty nothings to make us feel good about God; he simply stated the blatant fact that God is good.

Even though we are God’s children, we are often blind to the fullness of His goodness — yet that does not stop Him from being good.  He fills, He satisfies, and He works mightily – and still we remain in blind ignorance.  The plain truth is that all goodness, all perfection, every sweet blessing and little pleasure we have is given by our Father who delights in lavishing us with His goodness.  The above verse from James calls God the “Father of lights” who does not change.  And not only is our God unerringly good, there is not even a hint of His turning from His goodness – not even so much change as the wavering of a shadow.  This is why the “I-have-seen-too-much” theology is a dangerous trap: it denies that God manifests His goodness in the earth. And this is also why the “good things just happen” theology is perhaps even more dangerously ignorant: when we shrug and say that “good things just happen,” we are looking directly at all the goodness around us and saying that it doesn’t come from God.  In effect, both these lie-laden theologies deny the good nature of God.

I think about my life, and I can’t help but see my Heavenly Father’s goodness.  I have never been prone to tears, but tears do come when I consider such exquisite kindness – I am utterly undone.  In my few years I have lived more life, experienced more humanity, held more titles, and been part of more cultures and social classes than many people do in a lifetime.  And it was hard.  My missionary family has many experiences that we couldn’t talk about at the time, many stories that are waiting for a time to be shared.  Yet no matter how many difficult moments there have been, I have never doubted that I have a good life.  I cannot doubt it when I look back to the time when I was a girl growing up in the Midwest.  Neither can I doubt it when I look at my life now: a soon-to-be senior at a small-town Bible college, pursuing the path God has set before me, gracefully debt-free and eager to take the next step.  Like a sturdy thread that holds a tapestry together, my Heavenly Father’s goodness is woven throughout my past, my present, and my future by His steady hand.

From a seeming tangle of thread, we are woven into something beautiful by His sure Hand.

From a seeming tangle of thread, we are woven into something beautiful by His sure Hand.

I have walked through fire, and there is one thing I have discovered: my God is exquisitely, unfailingly good.  His gentleness has made me great (Psalm 18:35), and I have become strong.  And this inheritance does not belong to me alone; it is also yours as a child of the Most-High God, our good Father.  His goodness is always present; it never fails.  His kindness is indescribable.  The words of Graham Cooke come to mind:

When Moses said, “God, please show me Your glory,” maybe he was expecting some great display of power and light, but God just looked at him and smiled at him and said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass before you” because the glory of God is the nature of God – that God is good!  He is good!  He is unfailingly good!  He is good!  He is good!  God is good!  Good!  He is good!  And He is never changes – He will always be good!  Yesterday He is good, today He is good, tomorrow He will be good.  And it is your destiny to have the goodness of God pass before you.  He’ll never change.  You will always know where you are with Him.  He never changes.  He is consistent – the most consistent Person ever.  He will never change His heart toward you no matter what you do.  He cannot be anything other than what He is.  He is a covenant-maker, a covenant-keeper, and He is good!’
– Graham Cooke, “The Nature of God”

Take a few minutes and listen to the song below.  Won’t you let His goodness wash over you today?

“Good to Me” by Audrey Assad