Summary: These are reflections of being a new father and how they relate to our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
TEXT: Isaiah 64:1-8
“Reflections of a Father” – Part 1
When Jesus began His preaching ministry, he ruffled many feathers by constantly referring to God as “Father” or Av in the Hebrew. Even though God treated us like His children, it wasn’t something that the Pharisees were willing to grasp. Isaiah was one of the few writers in the O.T. that ever referred to God as our Father. He was to be King, not Daddy. Even though both characteristics describe Him, they just didn’t get it.
The Lord’s Prayer “Our Father, which art in Heaven…” was a revolutionary idea for Jews at the time. But we have grown up with the knowledge that God is a loving Father. I think it is the office that He enjoys most.
Being a new father, I have made a few observations about the unique relationship that a father shares with his child. I believe that all of these are especially significant to our relationship to Our Heavenly Father.
1. She frequently needs a good cleaning.
Even at the tender age of 3 months, my daughter manages to get herself dirty & stinky. Sometimes, it is a pleasant experience for her & she laughs & giggles. Those times, it seems that she knows I am doing it for her own good and she doesn’t resist me cleaning her up. However, she can get in a foul mood & resist the cleaning from start to finish. She makes it very difficult for me to clean her & it takes me a lot longer. She refuses to calm down and stop fighting me, until I’m done. Then she realizes that it was for her own good.
Throughout this life on earth, we are constantly being polluted by the world. Many times, Our Heavenly Father takes us by the hand to clean us up. We are the ones who determine how long that process lasts. We can whine & cry about it. We can resist Him as long as we possibly can and make His job so much harder. Or we can be happy, content and cooperative to allow Him to do what He needs to do to disinfect us from this world’s poisons.
Sometimes, Jesus used unusual methods to accomplish this task. In John 9, a blind man stands before Jesus. Jesus says, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” This must have seemed like the ironic statement of the century to this blind man. He couldn’t see anything. He couldn’t see the light.
So, Jesus touches the man’s eyes sockets & heals him, right? NO! That wouldn’t teach us a valuable lesson. Even though the man can’t see, he has good hearing. He hears Jesus spit. That will throw a monkey wrench in tradition. Blind Jewish beggars weren’t considered productive members of society & therefore not respected as such. I am sure this man was spat upon by Roman soldiers on a few occasions. So, when he hears Jesus spit, his heart must have sank. “Here we go again,” he thought.
But this time was so much different. “Something is going on. Someone is on the ground.” Jesus took some dirt, mixed with his spit and made a special present for blind man. Jesus had made an old-fashioned Mediterranean Mud Pie. He placed it over his eyes, and told him to find his way to the Pool of Siloam. He did, and the Bible said that he went home & saw his house for the first time.
Think about this for a second, Jesus used dirt to make him clean. That’s like my wife putting a wet diaper on my daughter to make her dry. It doesn’t make any natural sense. But I love it when God uses the foolish things to shame the wise. God uses the weak things & people in this world to shame the strong (1 Cor. 1:27).
2. Sometimes, my daughter will cry for no other reason, but to be held close.
Every time she cries, I go down the checklist: Is she hungry? Is she wet? I analyze the situation & try to psychoanalyze her. I get right up to her red, puffy, screaming face & say, “Why are you crying?” I have learned that at certain moments, there is nothing that will calm her down, except when she is held close. I don’t know if she gets scared easily, or what it is. It is amazing to watch the transformation take place. I pick her up and bring her close, so that she has her head turned to the side. And the sound of my heartbeat soothes her.
There are times in our lives, where we feel like nothing will comfort us. Our life has gone upside-down & we suddenly are at a loss. Nothing we can say or do can comfort us. And others words are even less comforting. Whatever crisis has occurred, we feel crushed beneath the weight of it; Whatever attack of the enemy, it has knocked the breath out of us; Whatever it is that has captured our complete attention; we cry ourselves to sleep at night; we long to be out of the dark valley; we feel desperate for some hope, some promise that whatever it is, will come to an end.