Last night at my Nana’s house (Supernana, as many know her) we gathered with family to celebrate the anniversary of my brother and sister-in-law. With kids running rampant there were some strange and entertaining reactions!
One event that really made an impression on me was early in the evening as went entered the house, with outdoor play suspended for a meal of pizza, salad, veggies and chips. I was carrying my daughter, Jaedyn, into the house and we approached my freakishly tall uncle. He playfully tried to make conversation with Jaedyn, but she played shy and gripped my neck, burying her face.
We all laughed and the point was made that from a father’s perspective, there is great joy to be found in being the safe haven and refuge for a scared child trying to avoid a tickle. We recalled many times where Paul’s children had been chased into his arms, and how he delighted in it.
I believe the longer I am a parent, the more I come to understand of the Father’s heart. This morning as I prayed I recalled times in my life, past and the very present, when life has been scary. Running a business is scary. Being a father is scary. Wondering if you’ll be able to provide sufficiently for your family is scary. Seeing how full of sin your heart really is is scary. Recalling the joy of having a child come running to me as the perceived safest place I thought about how sometimes our Father will let scary things happen in life that we might learn to cling desperately to Him.
He is glorified when we, as children, put all our faith and hope in Him. It is my prayer this morning that I would put more faith – all my faith – and my energy into throwing my arms around the neck of my God and Father in heaven and crying out, “Daddy, save me.” There is no pride in this – but children think not of pride when they are crying out to lifted, held, cuddled, protected. Don’t doubt for a minute that there is a prowling lion seeking to devour you, one that kills by separating from the herd. Don’t let your sin separate you from God, but seek to grow that relationship stronger and closer, that we might abandon all sense of self-pride and boldly, openly throw up our hands to the Father and beg for safety.
Trust me, this father’s heart knows, there is great joy in this for the Father and child.