Tag Archives: healing

Papa Daddy

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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.

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The Flipside

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This past fall I posted a blog entitled, “The Truth About Fairy-tales” in which I wrote about the Fairy-tale Heart of God.  I mentioned the wonderful way that He created men and women to find relationship (friendship, romance, etc.) with each other.  This is really a continuation of those ideas.  Through some recent goings-on in my life, the Lord has been showing me, very gently, my own inherent need for relationship – and the needs of others for the same thing.

When I use the term “relationship,” I am talking about all kinds of relationship.  We need romance as well as friendship.  We need to care for others and also be cared for.  We need light-hearted fun as well as wise counsel.  As human beings who bear the image of our Creator, part of our design is that we both need and crave relationships, for they are the sweet intimacy in which we share our hearts and lives with the people we are closest to.  And do you know that both the needing and the craving for relationship are good and healthy?  It is only how we choose to meet those inherent longings that can lead us to dark places and down paths we never intended to walk.

Do you feel fragile, ready to shatter at the slightest pressure?

Do you feel fragile, ready to shatter at the slightest pressure?

Just like everything else in creation, relationships have been tainted by the ugliness of sin.  Relationships often show signs of sin’s brokenness because they are the product of imperfect people.  Abuse, manipulation, deceit, neglect, betrayal of trust – these are most hurtful when they are perpetrated by the people we love, the people who should take care of us.  When we are hurt in relationships, we begin to shield ourselves, walking wounded.  Left to our own devices, we often become angry, bitter, or jaded.  We welcome self-pity and despair into our lives.  And then, most dreadful of all, we allow that brokenness to seep into our spirits and eat away at our God-given identity.  “Unloved, unwanted, broken, hopeless, useless, used, filthy, ashamed, guilty, dissatisfied – never whole” – these are some of the malicious lies that stain our lives when we let brokenness define us.

We then put up intangible walls to protect ourselves from greater hurt, not realizing that we are simply permitting our wounds to fester as we dwell in unholy, unnecessary agony.

Do you feel hollow, strong on the outside but empty and dead on the inside?

Do you feel hollow, strong on the outside but empty and dead on the inside?

Or perhaps your life has been fine and you’ve been surrounded by decent people.  You keep telling yourself that you should be content, that so many other people have faced deep hurts that you never had to experience.  Yet even as you tell yourself this, you feel hollow – something is missing, but you aren’t quite sure that is okay.  In spite of every relationship you have, nothing feels like it is truly enough – nothing feels quite satisfying.  You may think that Shakespeare was right: “Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all” – that it is better to be wounded than simply to live and love shallowly.  Then, of course, you might feel bad for thinking such a thing, as though you were wishing pain upon yourself.  My question is, why should you have to be hurt deeply to love deeply?  Must others crush us in order for us to experience the fullness of love?  Where is the balance?

In truth, I think we all carry both a bit of brokenness and a bit of emptiness.  We find the flipside of fairy-tales in this paradox of longing and self-preservation.  When we feel broken or empty, we make desperate choices, seeking to meet our needs for relationship through unhealthy means.  Oftentimes this involves looking to people – or to one person – to meet all of our needs.  We create false visions, hoping that we can attain the wholeness we seem to be lacking: “If only I had a [mother, a husband, a best friend…], then I would be fine.”

We reject that which is lovely and right about fairy-tales, and we cling to that deceiving notion, that fairy-tale discontent that whispers, “If I just had…I would be whole.”  We forget about the endless Love Story written for us by the Fairy-Tale Heart of our Lord and look to people to be the source of our wholeness.  The problem with this mode of thought is that it is both selfish and, ultimately, self-destructive.  Still, our hearts yearn for the intimacy of relationship, and the desire to know and be known is so overwhelming that we are compelled to sate it.

Surely there must be a better way.

Be courageous and allow yourself to find healing in relationship, first with the One whose love is limitless and then with the beautiful, imperfect people around you.

Be courageous and allow yourself to find healing in relationship — first with the One whose love is limitless and then with the beautiful, imperfect people around you.

Whether you are wounded or simply feel hollow, the only thing that can bring restoration is our loving Savior, Jesus Christ, who bore every sin to ransom us from an empty, shattered existence.  We still need and long for relationship, but we cannot meet it through people alone.  No one person could ever love us enough or give us enough or care for us enough to make us whole.  No person, regardless of how much that person tries or wants to do so, can fully satisfy us.  And no matter how many people you gather around yourself, they can never give you all that you need.  The truth is that we cannot adequately love or be loved until we know the love of the One who first loved us and gave His life for us (Romans 5:8).  Because of sin’s curse, we need to first be healed – made whole – by Jesus in the area of relationship so that we can enjoy the happy human interaction that we so desire.  We cannot have the healthy relationships that we were created for until we find our wholeness in Jesus, who will never fail us and whose presence will never leave us.

Jesus is calling you into His Fairy-tale.  Will you let Him romance you today?