My three sons live and work abroad. As a mum, I miss them, every single day. People say things to me like ‘well at least there’s Skype’ or ‘be glad they’re all love The Lord’. Both of which are absolutely true, and I am glad for those things, but you can’t hug your child over Skype and knowing your child is ‘walking with God’ is a great comfort, but it doesn’t stop you feeling the six thousand miles between you and the need to hear your child’s voice and see his or her face.
My sons, being guys, are…how do I put this? Well let’s just say they aren’t the best communicators. One of my sons in particular (who will remain unnamed) sometimes goes for a couple of months without texting or Skyping me. All three of them, when I text, usually send me back a brief reply saying they’re busy and that they’ll text me or call me properly later. Occasionally ‘later’ doesn’t come for weeks. But I still know they love me. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m their mum. And it certainly doesn’t change my love for them.
The other day, when I was feeling that familiar pang of missing my children, a thought suddenly dawned on me. God, as my father, loves it when I spend quality time with him. When I become ‘too busy’ and distracted by life, God’s heart feels the way mine does when my children are too busy to spend ‘Skype time’ with me.
How often do we say ‘oh I’ll talk to you later Lord, I just need to do this’? And then we fill up our days with so much ‘busyness’ that there’s no time left.
If my heart, as a parent, longs for meaningful connection with my children, how much more does my Father God’s heart, with me?
God thinks about you, all the time. Psalms 139:17-18 NLT
“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”
Your Father God is constantly thinking an uninterrupted stream of loving thoughts toward you as though nobody else in the world exists. How does He do that? How can He be personally involved with billions of individuals at the same time? I don’t know, but I do know that for the Creator of the world it’s no biggie. Maybe the explanation is the speed of His thought. God has created things in nature that pulsate at incredible speed. Apparently the quartz crystal’s molecular structure vibrates at the speed of 9 billion movements per second. That’s only something created. Surely then God, the Creator has the ability to think far faster than that. He could easily think a loving thought towards you at least twice every second without straining His ability to relate to the rest of His children all at the same time. Who knows how He does it. As far as you’re concerned, it’s just you and God. You never have to try to get His attention, you already have His full attention. He’s already listening.
As our Father, he is never too preoccupied with his own activities to show a real interest in the small events of our lives. He cares. He is a God of detail. Even the hairs on your head are numbered. The Bible doesn’t tell us this to let us know that God is concerned with data, He’s trying to tell us in what detail He knows us and cares about our lives. I love the way Psalm 139 puts it: “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.”
Psalms 139:1-4 NLT
No one, no matter how well they know you, knows you, or loves you the way your Heavenly Father does.
He’s always with you
There is one attribute of God that not even the best parent can ever hope to imitate; his ability to be with you all the time.
Psalms 139:7-12 NLT ”I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
He Disciplines with Love
People brought up by an austere or maybe even abusive father or mother, might read this and it might bring back painful memories of the wrong sort of ‘discipline’. Our Father God ‘reproves’, corrects, leads and chides. He doesn’t beat us with a big stick. Or whip us into submission when we step out of line.
Proverbs 3:12 NLT “For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights”
Hebrews 12:5-6 NLT “have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
God is the perfect Father. He is faithful, generous, kind, and loving. He longs to spend time with and have meaningful connection with his children. He wants you know that you are a special and unique person to Him, unconditionally loved.