God’s Thoughts to Me
Either you will find yourself opening up more and more to the Lord – and you will know it – or else you will find yourself constricting and tightening, in which case the atmosphere will become intolerable (Terry Fullam, Miracle in Darien).
Parable of A Father’s Love
In 1979 Terry Fullam, an Episcopalian priest, was trekking in the footsteps of the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt.
At Mount Sinai he had an encounter with God and was directed to the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Darien, Connecticut. They needed a minister and had called Mr Fullam a few weeks prior to the Sinai encounter.
The day he preached his debut sermon, the congregants were looking at him with great expectancy when he delivered the words above.
Yet, they were stunned into silence when he remarked that some of them might even find it necessary to leave the congregation.
For three successive Sundays he preached about nothing else but the great, scandalous love of our Pappa for each one of His children individually.
When the elders tentatively enquired when he was going to start preaching about something else, he replied that only when all of them really and truly believed this vital truth.
I had the honor of reading the book, The Miracle in Darien, a few years ago and was impressed by how our Pappa whispered His life into the heart of a congregation that was not much more than a heap of dead, dry bones.
I was also deeply convicted of my unbelief and knew that I did not really have the saving kind of faith … the kind that knew my Pappa’s love … the twinkle-in-the-eye-song-in-the-heart kind of childlike faith.
Valiantly and with an unhealthy dose of fear and trembling, I tried my utmost to get my head faith to somehow find the road less traveled to my heart for I had often heard sermons on our need to do this!. Oh, I failed miserably and completely!
Eventually I realized that only as I admit my total lack of not only not understanding faith and grace, but also my inability to supernaturally conjure up some magical fairy faith, could Pappa bless me with abundant faith and mercy!
Unbeknownst to me, I was actually at a very good place for I had to admit my failure to my Pappa. I told Him that if He doesn’t give me faith as a free gift of His grace, I will forever be a heathen.
I reminded Him that even Jesus told us that with us nothing is possible, even the simple act of believing. This He did with gladness.
The angels were rejoicing in heaven over this stubborn child who at least had the common sense to go home when she was at her wit’s end. He led me to another little book, He Loves Me, by Wayne Jacobsen.
Through this book, our Pappa opened my eyes to another central focus of the parable of the Prodigal Son: the love of the Father.
This Father acted shockingly when His good-for-nothing son claimed his inheritance while his Father was still alive; He gave it to him. Have you ever heard of such audacity!
To add injury to insult the son squandered all his riches on wine, women and song while his Pappa was waiting with longing on the farm.
When he ended up destitute, his Pappa didn’t rush to rescue His child, neither did He nag or prodded his son to get his life in order.
No, He allowed him to hit rock bottom, hoping that he would remember his Pappa’s unconditional love and come home willingly. When he was still a far way off, His Father, who was waiting with longing since the day he had left, saw him.
He hiked up His robes and ran down the road to meet His wayward son whose famished stomach made him prepare a good repentance speech.
The Father didn’t hear a word of His child’s apology, but smothered him with hugs and kisses of delight. There was not even a hint of anger or retribution.
No, instead of receiving punishment, this child received a feast fit for a prince to celebrate his homecoming. He told His servants to dress His child in royal robes and to put His signet ring on his finger.
Our Pappa showed me how He is totally the opposite of an earthly parent. Here on earth we make such a big issue of obedience and respect.
But this is not what my Pappa wanted. He desires nothing else but my whole heart, my love and my life from the moment He formed me in the seclusion of my mother’s womb.
He is not interested in our sacrifice and service to Him and reminds us that He is not served with human hands (Acts 17:25). No, not at all!
He wants each and every one of us to truly know how much He loves us. He desires an intimate relationship with all His children, as if that one was His one and only, hoping that we would willingly love Him in return.
Oh, what joy when the Heavenly Light of Love flooded my heart with the sunshine of understanding.
He took my hand and invited me to stand on His big Father feet while He taught me how to dance to the rhythm of the heartbeat of His love.
Much love and sweet blessings.