Walking Our Faith: Promises of our Father
June 16, 2017
This was a big week. The house I rent went under contract. I have two months to find another dog-friendly home. Then I caught pneumonia, and spent five days in bed.
I wish I could tell you that I met both events with raised hands and a confident, "God's got this!" But that wouldn't be truthful.
To be honest, during the days in bed with fever and cough, I spent most of my time talking with God. Not in a calm, adult manner, but more like a very insecure child.
Where will I move? What will I do? Dear God, I trust you, but I don't know what to do. In my mind, I know I can trust God, he has never failed me. The answers to my prayers may not have been ones I understood in the moment, but in every case I now understand God's choice was better than mine.
Still. Once again, I am anxious, because I love my beautiful adopted hometown of Breckenridge.
After my fever dissipated, and my dear friend Pat got me to my doctor and a prescription for antibiotics, I felt well enough to start reading in small bites between naps. I chose a little book, Precious Bible Promises, and began reading verses:
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"Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Phil. 1:6)
"Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise." (Hebrews 10:35-36)
"Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved." (Psalm 55:22)
"Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!" (Psalm 27:14)
After I'd read several pages of verses, the weight began to lift. My spirit was replenished, and my anxieties returned to a manageable level. Reading the Bible always helps.
Father Joe often sang a contemporary Christian worship song called, "You're a Good, Good Father" by Chris Tomlin, before the start of Thursday evening Adoration at St. Mary's. At first it was difficult for me to embrace the intimate, familiar, idea of God expressed in the lyrics. However, after hearing it numerous times, I found myself singing the chorus at odd times:
You're a good good father
It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are
And I'm loved by you
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am
As I searched the pages of my Bible this week, it was God, Our Father, that became most clear.
When the disciples of Jesus asked him how to pray, he said this:
"Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So this is how you should pray:
'Our Father in heaven,
we pray that your name will always be kept holy.
We pray that your kingdom will come—
that what you want will be done here on earth, the same as in heaven.
Give us the food we need for today.
Forgive our sins,
just as we have forgiven those who did wrong to us.
Don't let us be tempted,
but save us from the Evil One." (Matthew 6:7-12, ERV)
Jesus specifically directed us to address God, the Creator of the Universe, as our Father. Consider what this invitation means: we are not subjects or servants, but children of God. He loves us so dearly, that when we speak to him, he asks us to call him, 'Father.'
As I skim down the rest of the prayer, I consider what it says about God's concern for us.
God not only wants us to come to him when we are in need of great things, but also, for our daily bread, he reminds us to forgive others because he has forgiven us, and that because we trust our Father wants what is best for us, that his will be accomplished in our lives.
Later in the same chapter of Matthew, Jesus directs us again to call on our Father for our most essential needs: "If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers — most of which are never even seen — don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving … Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." (Matthew 6:30-34, MSG)
Yes, I still need to find a home for myself and my two very large and gentle Newfoundland dogs. And I am still weak from pneumonia. But I am reminded that I am not alone. I have a good, good father who hears my prayer and knows my needs and I am dearly loved. I call him my Father and he calls me his beloved child.
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