Daddy, Abba, Father

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I have often wondered if those who grew up with a devoted earthly father had an easier time growing in their relationship with God.

I have been told we often view God the way we view our earthly dad. Therefore, if we have an absent or uncaring dad, we struggle seeing God as a Father to be trusted. I concur. I have found there is truth in that statement. The Bible tells us of so many blessings available to us as children of God. And yet, sometimes I find I have a hard time grasping them. Resting in them. Enjoying them.

Romans 8:15 says, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

The term “Abba” is Aramaic, meaning “Father.” It was the word Jesus used when referring to the heavenly Father. The combining of the Aramaic term “Abba” with the Greek term for father (pater) expresses the depth of intimacy, emotion and confidence by which we can cry out to God. It translates to “daddy” or “papa.” It implies we have a relationship so close and personal we can call Him Daddy.

And yet the thing I have struggled the most with over the years is trusting God the way I should be able to trust a dad. His Word says we do not need to worry for He will take care of my needs (Matt. 6:25-34) but I worry a lot about my family, my children’s safety, our finances and who knows what else I conjure up.

His Word promises He goes ahead of me, and will be with me. He will never fail me or forsake me, so I do not have to be afraid or dismayed. (Deut. 31:8) And yet, I spend too much time afraid. Especially afraid that when something bad does happen, He will not be with me. Fearful He will abandon me in my time of need.

His Word says I do not need to depend on my own understanding but can seek His will and He will show me which path to take. (Prov. 3:5-6) He says He will guide me. But I spend too much time feeling unsure and uncertain. His promise is our hope in Him will not disappoint us (Rom. 5:5) and that Jesus came to give us not just life, but abundant life (John 10:10). I have wasted too much time and energy being afraid to fully surrender and place all my hope solely in Him. I am afraid to let go of what I am under the illusion I can control. 

Anabelle going on a date with her Daddy. He always buys her a corsage and she looks forward to her Daddy/daughter dates for months in advance. What a precious gift for them both.

I am learning. But some days it feels like it is a battle. I watch my daughter with my husband and feel both thankful and sad. I am more grateful than words can say for the Daddy he is to her. She basks in it. He basks in it. I feel sad I will never experience that. And wonder how old will I be when I finally have fully surrendered to my Heavenly Daddy, and let Him fill the gaping hole in my heart?

Last July my husband had promised Anabelle he would take her fishing on her birthday. Finally on the day of her birthday, he gave her a new fishing pole as a gift. After opening it, she ran upstairs to put on her shoes to go fishing. As I walked back down stairs with her, she said to me, “My Daddy makes promises. We are going fishing.” She was so excited she bounced.

What she really meant was, “My Daddy KEEPS promises.” At 6 years old, she values a father keeping his word. It is a soothing balm for my heart to know I have a Daddy that keeps His promises, too. It is still a learning curve. But I have hope in it. I cry out, “Abba, Father.”


For better or for worse, has your relationship with your earthly father affected your relationship with your Heavenly Father?



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