Father? God

I awoke at 4am this morning to rain, and my heart sank. Normally rain brings me great joy, but today I have to meet with a team and go do a summer camp. In order to do that I need to get a taxi, and in Beijing when it rains the taxis disappear. Last night, I prayed intensely hard that it wouldn’t rain until after I got into the city. Before I went to bed, I had a flash thought that said God’s not going to come through because you need this. I dismissed it and went to sleep. And this thought creeps back into my mind as I scramble to figure out how to keep my commitment.

They say that your relationship with your dad effects how you see God. My Father was a physically and emotional abusive narcissist who couldn’t be counted on to come through for his children (people reading this who know my Dad will say I am making this up, but that’s because Dad would drop everything to go help other people and then leave his family hanging).

Donald Miller once said (and I’m paraphrasing here), “with all the all the bad fathers in the world, God’s decision to call himself Father seems like a huge marketing mistake”. I couldn’t agree more. I understand that relationship one has with a friend, or a teacher, or a mentor, or a commanding officer, those relationships would be easy for me to understand the roles played. Calling yourself father and then asking me to trust you is like saying “you’re all alone here and I am most definitely going to let you down when you need me most”.

I struggle with trust on a good day, and on days like today, I am tempted to believe God either doesn’t exist or doesn’t care. The little things hurt the most because they seem like the easiest to do and that is also where it seems like the ball gets dropped the most. I am tempted to believe that I am all alone and can only depend on myself. I lived most of my teens and early twenties like this, and it didn’t work.

So what am I to do. I woke up this morning, and immediately thanked God for another day. It isn’t the one wanted, but today wasn’t promised to me. When I sit self-pity over the times God didn’t come through, I forget all the times he did come through. Yes, I might have trouble getting a cab, I may even have to have to cancel on a commitment I made, but that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love me or isn’t watching out for me, it just means I was looking in the wrong direction for him.

I still have a long way to go on understand God as a Father. I may never feel completely comfortable with the word father, the damage is done, and the wounds are still healing. But one thing I do know is that God will still be there, even when I act like a giant jackass (remember he used Balaam’s donkey). So this morning, I am going to go out the door, and wait for a taxi and God to show up.

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2 thoughts on “Father? God

    • Oh yeah, I completely forgot to follow up on that story. After I finished writing, I looked out the window and the rain had stopped. I left about ten minutes later and when I got to the corner, there was cab sitting hoping to find a customer. I ended up meeting up with my friends and having a pretty spectacular week teaching kids about the value of resiliency (the theme of our camp).
      Since that camp I feel like I am growing closer to God, and I am noticing how much He actually answers me when I pray. I have had a couple of times this week when I prayed small prayers, not expecting anything to happen and things happened.

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