I am a Christian and have been since I was a very out spoken 6 year old. It was logical that I become a Christian, I was going to a Christian school after all. There was no earth shattering redemption from the black hole of filth of my own making. How much mess could a 6 year old have made? I was too young to drink, my mother would not have let me get away with anything terrible, even by 6 year old standards!
During my teen years I had a few renewals of the heart. I wanted to make good and sure all my bases were covered. Every one was heartfelt and sincere. I never got into much trouble as a teen so even then, no radical 180° turns required.
In my 20s I had to decide if my faith was truly my own and not just the result of my upbringing. Having small children did not leave me much time to THINK DEEP THOUGHTS very often. I do remember not trusting God with my children. I thought he would take them away from me to "teach me a lesson". Surely, I had plenty to learn. I survived pretty much on my own. I was exhausted.
Until recently, the picture in my mind when I thought of God was of good ole Abe Lincoln sitting on his concrete chair, cold and distant, waiting for me to mess up again to say, "See? I told you, you never listen!" I did not see a good father, I did not see someone who loves me.
I have a good dad. He has been a great example of a good father to me. Why did I think God would not be a good father? I am sure many would analyze my life and say that my father let me down, did not praise me enough. To that I say, Phewy! If we are going to play that game, we will do so all the way back to Adam. I am sure my dad did not do ALL THE THINGS RIGHT. None of us do. I refuse to lay blame at my dad's feet. That would mean my children can do the same thing to me! There is no way I am perfect! I have broken most of the "Good Mother" rules. This will only bring about condemnation furthering defeat. Do I have little girl memories when my daddy hurt my heart? Of course I do! Did my dad intentionally do things to hurt me, ABSOLUTELY NOT! We all work within the scope of our life experiences and hurts.
I know why I thought of God as cold and distant. I will let you in on that little secret. As long as I remained intimidated by the God I serve, I remain ineffective. I have always believed in God's existence. I have only recently believed in His goodness. How can I inspire others to embrace the goodness and love of God if I myself do not believe? If satan's desire and mission is to cripple Christians, all he has to do is convince us to believe a lie. Mission accomplished.
The picture I now see of God is still in His big chair, but now I see Him engaged in me! Looking at me like a father would look at a child he is enjoying. I have engaged with Him and saw myself sitting on His lap, snuggled into His chest. I am learning to speak to Him. Jesus' death on the cross makes it so that I can. The difference this understanding has made in my life is noticeable, even to those who do not know Him. This difference changes my entire perspective on who I am which in true effects how I speak to others, my children, my husband and every person that I meet.
What do you see when you think of God?
Here's what I know, He's a Good, Good Father.