(Editor's Note: Today's Guest Writer for Engage is C.J. Snyder.)
My sister and I each have a mirror hanging over our sinks in the bathroom. Neither is ever clean. Both have black, Expo marker notes written on them. The messages are reminders — Bible verses, excerpts of hymns, or mundane notes such as, “Your earring is on your dresser.”
The first note my sister wrote on my mirror, the one that stayed there the longest, was from a hymn by Anne Steele:
My God, my Father, blissful name!
Oh may I call Thee mine?
May I with sweet assurance claim
A portion so divine?
She wrote it with an artistic flair, emphasizing at the top of the mirror in large, scrolling letters Father.
I have grown up hearing “Father” in religious phrases. “God the Father,” “Our Father who art in heaven,” “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” God as Father is a reality I need to take out of the corner of my mind and blow off the dust of familiarity in order to see its beauty.
I think of my earthly father. He provides, cares, protects, understands, and wants to give me gift after gift. His greatest motive and goal is love. My father has loved me since the day I was born.
But my earthly father is flawed. He makes mistakes; he sins. Someday, he will not be able to provide. He will not be able to protect. He does not understand everything. He does not know how and cannot afford to give me every good thing. His love is imperfect, and his love is limited.
Yet contrast my earthly father with “My God, my Father…” God is infinite, all-knowing, and all-powerful. He has no beginning and no end. He was, is, and will always be. He understands all of His creation and every hidden thought tucked away in the human heart. He invented everything and made it with a word. He cannot change and cannot fail. He is the blessed God who needs nothing and is complete in Himself. His love is indescribable (Ephesians 3:18-19). He is perfect, and He is unlimited.
This God adopted me. He did not choose a pleasant child from a respectable background. God paints a picture of the story in Ezekiel 1,
Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born (Ezekiel 16:3-5).
Origin: The land that God was waiting to punish (Gen 15:16).
Parents: Idol-worshipping pagans.
Birthplace: An open field.
Christian, you came from the kingdom that chose to ignore God. Your parents put themselves before God in Eden. You were born into a world that would rather God did not exist. Your heart and mind were full of filth.
And yet God continues in Ezekiel,
And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment (Ezekiel 16:6-7).
The King of kings stooped, and through the Son’s death and the Spirit’s work, He took up the helpless, abhorred, worthless sinner who deserved death (Romans 5:6). He not only said, “Live!” He brought us into His home.
It is one thing to rescue your enemy. It is another to love him, and another to make him part of your family. Not only did He save the sinner’s life, but He also made the sinner His child. He gives the believer love, access, comfort, safety, honor, and an inheritance (Romans 8:17).
Believer, the Lord is not only your Creator, not only your Redeemer, not only your Friend. He is your Father. As the hymn writer states, it is a “blissful name!”
Explore this truth! Look at the words God tells His children. Let it sink in until, as the song mentioned above says, it is a “sweet assurance.” Your Father is God. God is your Father. Here is your “portion so divine.”