Often I’ll hear someone say that God is the perfect Father, and I believe that most of the time. But I still question His love sometimes. Okay, most times. It’s mostly when I try to think of how He loves me when I get lost. The other day, I was in a meditation group with some coworkers, and we were meditating on John 15:9:
“As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you. Abide in My love.”
Meditation that day looked like writing out the verse in a notebook, and sitting in the Prayer Room (which has worship & prayer going 24/7) for half an hour writing whatever we felt the Holy Spirit was telling us about the verse. And that’s precisely what I did.
I sat there with my leather-bound journal, staring at the verse written across the top. A question popped up within me. “Father, how do you love Jesus?” Then I felt a response. “More than anyone ever can. Beyond anyone or anything.” I thought about how in the verse, Jesus says He loves us just like the Father loves Him. And then this bomb dropped in my spirit, “To encounter the father’s heart of God is to encounter the love Jesus has for you. To abide in His love is to live as a Son of God.” I stared at that sentence, attempting to work my brain around it. I knew it was true, but what exactly it looked like applied practically to my life, I had not a clue. I still really don’t have all that much understanding about it, but I think I’ve made at least a little progress.
When I think about how Jesus showed love, I think of His death, because that’s what’s taught in Sunday School: Jesus loved us so much, He died for you and I. And it’s absolutely correct, but Jesus lived His earthly life was lived in love toward us. I think of the woman accused of adultery that He spared, I think of the parables that He told to teach of God the Father and their ways. I think of the patience He had with the disciples. I think of Him healing the sick. I think of the humility He walked with. I think of Him washing the feet of His disciples. If Jesus is a perfect picture of God, then I’ve gone wrong at some point.
But I go back to another thing the Holy Spirit told me that night, “Trying to figure God out on your own isn’t it.” It being abiding in His love. Standing back and trying to figure someone out just by observation is generally a terrible way to get to know someone. A son will not actually know his father by avoiding conversation, and just watching him. Spending time in conversation, letting him teach a skill, and asking him for help is a much more effective method. If you’re like me, you didn’t really have a relationship with your father. He might have been physically present, but distant. He might not have been there at all. So I have no grid for hanging out with a father. I have no grid for an affectionate father. I have no grid for a father who loves his children intensely. To allow God to teach me about Himself takes a ton of faith for me, but I know that it’s the best thing for me. I’m still at the beginning of this journey, and I continually stumble or turn away from Him; but, that doesn’t disqualify me, somehow.
Here’s to pushing on. Here’s to trusting the perfect Father.