Sweet Words from Abba Father

February is the month our culture has designated to celebrate love.  I am so glad that Jesus showers His love on us throughout all 12 months of the year.  He sends us love notes nearly every day, whether we recognize them or not.  He calls us to Himself and longs to spend time with us.  What more could we ask for! During the past two years, I’ve been on a journey with God.  I’ve learned so much, but I’m still learning about His unconditional love for me and for you.  I’m learning how to balance, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21 KJV)  and "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."  (John 15:15 NIV)   Ultimately, I want to be so close to my Lord that He would call me His friend.

Recently during one of my quiet times, I confessed to God I didn’t feel close to Him and asked Him what that meant.  These sweet words came from my Abba Father.  Though I was the receiver, I believe He would like me to share these words with all of His daughters.

Being in My presence goes beyond feeling.  Quiet yourself and focus on Me—on who I am, on My faithfulness, on My never-ending mercy.  Sit in My lap and be at peace.  Nothing else is required; nothing else is expected.

Lean back.  That posture is not one of warfare, but of intimacy.  It is easy to whisper in your ear what others cannot hear.  When you lean back, you can feel the warmth of My breath; you can hear the beat of My heart.

I didn’t say, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you STRENGTH.”  No, I said, " I will give you REST". (Matt. 11:28 NIV, emphasis mine)  Even in the midst of so much to do, I ask you to rest and trust in Me.

Why must you go at breakneck speed?  I didn’t set that example.  The spirit of the knowledge of good and evil enforces the need to earn your value and title of being exceptional.  You are exceptional!  I created you.  There is no one else just like you in all of creation.  I made you in my image.  You need not do anything more than breathe and smile.

It is my prayer that you’ll join me as I learn how to be a human being and not a human “doing”.  Make time to sit in the lap of the Creator of the universe who just happens to be the Lover of your soul.

A Walk on the Beach

A few weeks ago, I chose to spend some time sitting still and enjoying God’s presence--not reading, not singing, not praying, only being.  It’s not easy for a type-A person like me to depart from my “To Do List” and just “do nothing.”  Our time together is so sweet and most always leaves me feeling refreshed and recharged.  This time was no different. In my mind’s eye I saw Jesus walking on the beach with me.  I saw only our backs.  Every so often, I would stop and write in the sand why I was unworthy—unworthy of His love, unworthy of His attention, and unworthy to be in such a close relationship with Him.  Jesus didn’t stop to wait for me as I wrote, He just kept slowly walking.  As soon as I’d finish writing or sometimes before I even finished, a wave would come and wash away my excuses.  I ran ahead catching up to Jesus so I could walk beside him and hold His hands.  Several times I stopped to write but each time His response was the same and the waves erased my list of faults.  When I finally gave up writing and focused on walking with him, He turned to face me looking into my eyes with a smiling face of radiance and eyes of love.

Even as I’m writing this, I realize that He is teaching me what it means to be a daughter.  A daddy (a healthy and whole one) loves to hold his daughter’s hand and spend time with her.  A daddy already knows many of his daughter’s weaknesses, but his love for her keeps him from always focusing on the negative and breaking her spirit.  Certainly part of his job is bringing correction, but He patiently waits for the right time and then he gently guides.  Their relationship is more important than correcting her faults.

Thank You, God, that you desire a relationship with me more than you desire perfection.  Thank You for seeing beyond my faults, especially when I keep reminding You about them.  Thank You for accepting me and loving me just the way I am and for patiently guiding my path and forming my character.  I know that the more time we spend together, the more I become like You.

Looking Into His Face

You may think it funny, but I still read aloud to our girls.  They’ve all been able to read on their own for quite some time but they all still enjoy listening to a good story.  This past month we’ve been reading Mary Jones and Her Bible by Mary E. Roper, a true story of a girl who saves money for seven years so she can purchase a Bible in her own language. In one section, Mary’s father comes home with some good news for Mary.  “Mary, whose observant eye was sure to note the slightest change in her father’s face and manner, sprang up and stood before him, regarding his bright face searchingly.”  This sentence caught my attention and made me think.  Am I so observant of my Heavenly Father?  Do I spend enough time in His presence, gazing at His face that I would notice the slightest change of expression?  Am I so in tune with my Lord that I would see even a tiny hint of disappointment when I choose to go my own way? I want to know my Father so well, that I recognize even the slightest change of His face.

Mary knew her father’s face because she spent nearly every waking moment in the same room with him, opening her heart to him.  Knowing our Heavenly Father takes comes in much the same way-- spending time in His presence and pouring out our hearts to the Father who loves us.  My heart longs to know my Father in a deeper way.  I want to know His face as I know my own.  I agree with the words of Paul:  “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil. 3:10)

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.