“Abba, Father” {My Daddy}

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.””

Romans 8:15 has been my favorite verse for a few years now.  Before discovering it, my favorite verse was quite similar. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  (2 Timothy 1:7).  I still love both of these verses very much, but Romans 8:15 became my new favorite because it told me not just about freedom from bondage, but also about the relationship God desires with me.

He has adopted me as His daughter, and given me the freedom to call him “Abba”.  Abba, in our language is very similar to the way a little girl calls her dad, “Daddy”.  The relationship implied here is not one of a tyrant father, but of a loving Daddy.

As I ponder that relationship, my mind looks back over my childhood.  I think of my own dad, running behind my bicycle, giving me the confidence to ride.  I picture him teaching me how to climb the doorway in our parsonage.  I remember him cheering me on as I won the Big Wheel race at Kindergarten field day.  I’m reminded of the many nights he sat at the edge of my bed, scratching my back, chatting with me about life, and then praying with me before I fell asleep.

My mind then travels to later in my life, when as a freshman in college I received a letter in the mail from him.  Though we talked on the phone almost daily, he wrote me a letter filled with Godly wisdom, and fatherly encouragement.  And I can’t forget all the phone conversations I had with him during my mile-long walks to and from class.

I remember the pride in his eyes before I headed to the Middle East for summer missions, and the tears in his eyes as I moved ten hours away to go to Seminary.  I think of him walking me down the aisle, and then preaching my wedding just a year ago.

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I look back, and I see a dad who lavished love and laughter on his daughter.  I see a dad who taught His daughter the most important thing he could teach her–to love and follow Christ.  I see a dad who I trust, and who I love in return.

With all of these memories, it’s pretty easy to think of God as my Daddy.  I’m lucky to have a Dad that reinforces the concept of what a Father should be, But I’m astounded that the God of this universe even desires that kind of relationship with me, a sinner.

In the letter I mentioned earlier, my dad wrote about how tempted he was to worry about the direction of my life.  How badly he wanted to still be with me to protect me as I was out in the world.  But he assured me that although he was my dad, God was my Father.  Though my earthly Dad played a huge part in bringing me into this world, my Heavenly Father is the one who created me.

It’s such a beautiful picture.  And the best part is, it’s so much more than a picture!  Scripture gives us many analogies about our relationship with God.  He is our rock (Psalm 18:2) and our shield (Psalm 28:7), but God is not a physical rock, or an iron shield.  Those are simply analogies to help us understand His character.  God as Father, though, is not an analogy!  It’s not a part of His character.  It’s His very identity.  God created Adam and Eve as His children, but they fell from that relationship when they sinned.  The very reason that Jesus came, was to restore that broken relationship!  Because of Christ, we can be reconciled to God.  We can know Him even more intimately than we know our earthly dads.  We can know Him, as our “Abba”, our Daddy.