You may be a manly man, but maybe what you are missing in your relationship with God is the ability to let Him be your Father.
- Jim Shempert
I recently returned from a family trip to the beach. It was my soon-to-be two-year old’s first trip to the ocean. Being a lover of sand and salt water, I couldn’t wait to see my little girl’s reaction to the breaking tide.
That’s all the fluffy images in my head. In truth, I had to ride with a 22-month-old 7 hours in a car seat. For all of you who know, that should fall under the “cruel and unusual” category. You can’t reason with a two-year-old. After a tantrum or two, and multiple views of the same “Praise Baby” video, we made it to our destination. Then came the “mule” part of the vacation for dad. I carried a tent, 4 chairs, a cooler, a bag of toys, and various other accouterments to our little piece of heaven and setup camp. After several religion-losing moments with the tent, I had everything settled. Then came the moment I had waited for, my little girl walking off the causeway, stepping onto the sand for the first time. I imagined pictures that would be remembered for a lifetime.
As soon as her feet hit the sand, there was a gigantic freakout! I mean blood-curdling screaming type freak-out. My little girl is very prissy and she does not like to get her hands or feet dirty. I failed to calculate this in my grand plans. Her response is one she uses when she feels unsafe. “Daddy, hold you.” (Do you want me to hold you?)
Have you ever felt a time in your life where you wanted to ask the Father to hold you? Lost a job? Got a divorce? Family member died unexpectedly? Car accident? Sin to the point that you think you can’t come back to God?
I have a very close friend, one who I might not see more than twice a year. He is my brother in Christ though. Whenever I see him, it’s as if we haven’t been apart more than 10 minutes. His father, who is in his early 80’s recently had a very bad car accident. Most, given that reality, would realize that recovery expectations weren’t that great. Not my friend. He is a man of the Cross. He puts his faith in the Great Physician. After the wreck, I would check on him every day or so. On one of the exchanges, he said, “The doctors have done all they can do. They say we need a miracle.” I told him, “Fortunately, we serve a God who is in the miracle business.”
My friend didn’t surrender. He ran to the Father of Lights. He fell into the arms of Jehovah Rapha, the Lord Who Heals. He called on his knowledge of Psalm 46:1-3, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.” He called his Father for help. The day after the dire prognosis, I messaged him asking how his dad was. His health had taken a drastic turn for the better.
Jesus Himself turned to His Father in His darkest hour. Before the Cross, in Gethsemane, when Christ was at His lowest, He fell into the arms of His Father: “Going a little farther, He fell with His face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will. (Matthew 26:39)”
Jesus called out to His Father. He asked, but did not demand an answer. He recognized the sovereignty of God, and that no matter what, His purpose would be accomplished. God’s Will shall ultimately always be done. No matter how enlightened man gets, he still doesn’t hold a candle to God. That is what is so sad about current events. Man thumps his chest and says, “I know better that the God who created the universe. I am smarter and more enlightened. I know better than He. I can do whatever I want, I am free!” All the while, God is the One who has made us free through the sacrifice of His Son.
Back to my daughter. While she was crying out onto the sand, pleading for rescue, I picked her up. I knew that the sand would not hurt her. It wasn't overly warm, but I knew that for her comfort, she needed to be in the arms of her Father. The panicking stopped. She was and is loved. She was and is comforted. She knows in her little mind that I will protect her. What she can’t see, is that I know what could be if she would embrace it. I can see a broader scope than what my little princess can see. Jeremiah 29:11 is an often quoted verse, but verses 12-13 are virtually unknown. "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
You may be a manly man, but maybe what you are missing in your relationship with God is the ability to let Him be your Father. Maybe what you need to do, is simply pray, “Daddy, Hold me.”