When my father was alive, one of my favorite things to do with him was just spend time, quality time together, talking. He was funny, and smart, and loving, and sometimes feisty, and I learned so much from him.
I can remember being a little girl on road trips, and he would point out different trees and crops during our drive and teach us what they were. My father taught me.
I can remember watching Tommy Boy and Seinfeld reruns with him as teenager and laughing hysterically with him. I laughed with my father. My father delighted in laughing with me.
I can remember when we first went to elementary school and he told us if anyone ever tried to pick us up from school that we didn’t know, even if they said they were a friend of our parent’s, we were to ask for our family “code word” and if they didn’t know it, to run and tell an adult. They were lying and trying to kidnap us! (Not even kidding we had a code word for instances like this. We also had family fire drills.) My father protected me.
I remember the time when I got busted for doing things teenagers shouldn’t be doing (ie sneaking his beer into my purse to go to a graduation party). I got grounded and didn’t end up going to what I still believe to.this.day was the “best graduation party of our year”. I begged him to ground me the following week, because I just had to go to this party. But no.My father disciplined me.
And every Valentine’s day, he would bring us all flowers and make us feel special. My father loved me.
And I can’t help but think of the example my earthly father set for me and how much he exemplified what a Heavenly Father is like.
I haven’t heard the voice of my earthly father in nearly 11 years, but I can hear from my Heavenly Father daily.
Through His word, I can hear His voice. His word is so much more than information or a list of rules and commands. For me, His word is a place that I go seeking to hear the voice of my Father. His word teaches me, guides me, protects me, comforts me, encourages me, nourishes me. It’s how I know my Father delights in me and loves me.
Often we view spending time in God’s word as a chore, a task, something we “should do” and we end up feeling guilty about it.
What if we viewed abiding in God’s word as spending time with your Father?What if it was about more than just information? It was about letting your Father speak to you, guide you, comfort you, discipline you, nourish you?
What if we approached God’s word that way? As a gift? As time with your Father?
I am convinced that chaos and busyness are a cancer to the spiritual life. It breeds a hard heart. And I know that if we slow down enough to connect to the True Vine, to abide and delight in our Heavenly Father, the rest of our life will seem less chaotic.
Let’s stop filling up our schedule to the neglect of our soul. Let’s slow down long enough to hear from our Heavenly Father. Our Father loves us and longs for time with us. It’s His greatest desire. Let’s stay connected to the True Vine and abide in Him.
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)