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Father, Father!

September 26, 2010

And yet…

It is not good to say to anyone

“Help! Help!” all the time.

A mother should know how boring this is!

Say instead, “Father, Father!”

and praise Him in all things,

for He sees and has not forgotten.

Praise is a form of trust;

“the world is wider than my fears;

I will celebrate your Love forever,

even today.”

I remember praying, “Help!  Help…” once when my troubles were very deep. God spoke to me in my heart and said, “Don’t say ‘Help help,’ say, ‘Father, Father.’”

What an amazing concept! Immediately I stepped outside my desperation into a personal relationship that was Comfort and Stillness. I still had a problem to solve, and it took a long time because it was a big problem, but I understood that our Father wants us to be in relationship first of all. He is not just a Fixer; he does not wish to be known that way or constantly approached in anxiety.

When unbelievers see us approaching God in this desperate way, they become scornful. They say that God is just a crutch and that our approach to him is neurotic. Even if we receive a happy and startling answer to our prayers, they say, “Well, it was going to happen that way anyway.” What can we prove about that?


Worse, even in our hearts, the evidence for God’s love is not actually the event that “answers,” but the Presence that enters our hearts through both the question and the answer. So both for us and for the unbelievers around us, what is persuasive is our serenity in God, and that comes very quickly, though in small doses at first, when we approach him as his children.

Jesus gives us the most powerful example of this. Remember when he was dying on the cross, and he said, “Father, into your hands, I commend my spirit.” And the soldier standing nearby could not help but see, right then and there, that this was “truly a son of God.” That is the witness that is persuasive. How many people have written about Jesus’ words, “my God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” These words persuade us that he understood our sometimes desperate pain, but they have also been used to suggest that he really was confused about his relationship with the Father, that he didn’t know he was divine, and that maybe we shouldn’t be so sure either.

But the answer to that is given in the scriptures: Jesus’ last words were words of confidence and relationship, and they converted one soldier right there on the spot.

That’s the plan.

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