We have such a merciful heavenly Father! It’s hard to believe that he still loves us when we sin. It’s hard to believe that he really cares when we go off on our own way. It’s hard to take in that he loves us no matter what. It’s hard to comprehend how he knows every single thing that is going on in the whole universe… that’s everything to do with every star and planet, everything to do with every black hole and whatever else is out there, everything to do with absolutely everything on this earth–us humans and our thoughts and actions, the birds and animals, all of nature itself (remember he knows about every sparrow that falls to the ground). I cannot keep track of anything much, yet he sees it all, knows it all intimately, and loves all he has made.
Back in 2003 I was thinking about God as Father. I was particularly struck by what Jesus said of his own relationship with Father God all through the gospel of John. It seems like it would be good to come back to what I wrote all those years ago. May Father God bless and encourage you as you read and think about God as your heavenly Father.
He’s a tyrant waiting for me to put one foot out of place
Here are some scriptures to help you meditate on Father God. God is emotionally present, kind, loving, gentle, and understanding of our limitations. Our minds may know this but our hearts don’t.
Psalm 103:13, 14 says, “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he understands how weak we are; he knows we are only dust.”
Isaiah 9:6 “Mighty God, everlasting father …”
Matthew 6:9 “Our Father in heaven may your name be honored …”
*John 10:30 “The Father and I are one …” Look at Jesus to get a view of the father heart of God.
Romans 8:15 “Father dear Father …”
Hebrews 1:5 “Today I have become your Father …”
Ephesians 4:6 “Only one God and Father …”
Time. In some respects time is so against us. The older we get the more quickly it scurries away… a month comes and goes like it is just a single day. Why, just yesterday it was New Years day, wasn’t it? How could it have become the end of April already?
My friend goes on to say:
And, I do agree. Our times are in God’s hands. I am so thankful! My hope is in him.
One thing I’ve learned over many years of walking with Jesus through my life, is that God has provided many places of safety for those times when life throws us a curve ball.
I wrote about having a safe place back in 2001 and posted on another website I host. I realise it’s as relevant to me today as it was back then:
Recently I’ve been reminded about the validity of having a safe place where one may retreat to take a breather from the stresses and strains of life. I was reminded of the safe place concept through my reading in a book about EMDR where a lady was taught to create a safe place inside where she could go to calm herself when intense feelings came up.
I was reminded that I’d come across this idea before. It is used in many kinds of therapy and has proved effective in providing respite from intense emotional pain. I’ve also seen the concept used in psychodramas.
The director of the psychodrama will often have the person who is dealing with intense trauma create a safe place somewhere in the room to which them may retreat during the weekend if their distress gets to be too much.
Recently during healing prayer ministry with one person I felt as though God reminded me about safe places in order to share it with them. This client had had two profound experiences with Jesus. The first occurred while this person was looking at the painful memory scene and feeling excluded, out of the picture. Jesus came picked the person up and held them in his arms – a sense of deep comfort and calm were immediate. The second again occurred while the person was looking at a painful memory scene and feeling the intensity of being unloved. Jesus appeared to the person on the cross. He showed his feet, his hands and his side and then told the person that he loved them – the effect again was immediate calm, and a strong sense of being loved. I had a sense that these two experiences were more than just for healing, God was also wanting to give the person a safe place to which to retreat any time they needed. Other places still had pain and weren’t yet safe. These two places are safe because Jesus is there and He has vaporised the lies which had held the person in deep pain. Jesus brought His peace – a lasting peace.
I have a safe place. God took me to it several years ago. It was deep in my imagination. I knew it had to be a God-thing as up till that time I had no imagination and found it hard to see pictures inside me. This place is very precious to me so excuse me if I don’t explicitly identify it here. Every time I go there I find God – sometimes it’s Jesus, sometimes Father, sometimes Holy Spirit, sometimes all three. In this place I experience no pain. It just disappears as I arrive, sometimes I leave the pain at the door, sometimes God washes me clean or picks the pain off me as if it were bits of straw or prickles poking into me. Here in this place He talks with me and I with Him – often there are no words but we talk nonetheless.
As a child I had a safe place. It was my bed which most nights I would turn into a boat (sort of like a tug-boat) by scrunching up the sheets and blankets all around me so that my boat had sides to keep me safe from the stormy and unsafe ocean of my life. In my imagination I would sail off to another place where it felt calm and safe. I have no idea how long I did this but I think it was over a significant period of time.
Last year (2000) God showed me that my present safe place is actually inside, in my spirit – that part of me where Satan cannot dwell because it’s where God Himself dwells. I can go and be there any time. It has been and is really helpful as I’ve been learning to listen more to God and pay attention to His perspective on what’s happening around and in me.
There’s a great little song that sums up something of the sentiment of the safe/secret place. In that place there is safety, rest and healing, and yet, there’s so much more. Our longings for God are stirred, our perspective is changed:
In the secret, in the quiet place, In the stillness You are there.
Finally, I’m reminded of a saying I heard or read some years ago:
“Though I may tremble on the rock, the rock never trembles under me.”
Whatever our safe place, Jesus is there. The fantastic thing is that since Jesus is in us, in our spirit, our place of safety is there with him.
Copyright 2001-2016 Fran Woods
We are living in a very chaotic world. Our senses are continuously assaulted by noise… whether the noise of traffic, machinery, radio, TV, or via our ear buds as we listen to the latest and greatest music. Our senses are also assaulted as we hear of natural disasters near and far, or by news of horrific terror attacks, or by hearing of the abuse of the many vulnerable in our communities. It is so very distressing. Oftentimes numbness descends as our only way of coping, and in some way to block out or minimise the senseless pain and suffering.
It is difficult to deal with.
However, there is…
Psalm 46:10 has a great word for us in this age in which we live even though written so long ago:
Be still… know that God is still God. Nothing that happens today will change that. Listen for him.