ABBA, IS YOUR FACE TURNED TOWARD ME OR AWAY FROM ME?
My precious ones, I had written a different blog for this week but our Father thought words of encouragement were needed again this week. Sometimes, just a whisper in our darkness from His lips can breathe hope and life back into our hearts. In one of my blogs, I talked about Night Seasons in our lives. We all must face them in order for us to understand just how wonderful our Father and Lord really are. None of us like to go through them. We all enjoy living in a stress-free, trial-free, and carefree environment where everything is just hunky dory. But the truth of the matter is, the earth is heaven’s classroom, where all of Abba’s children discover who they are and learn how to rule and reign with Christ. So Daddy uses everything for our good and His purposes to promote growth and maturity in Christ. But, during our training, we feel as though our Father has left us to defend for ourselves and we must manage life on our own. We sometimes feel He has turned away and is looking in another direction and not interested in our pain or circumstances. This reminds me of a story I heard let me share it.
A story is told of a husband whose wife died. He lost his wife and his daughter lost her mother. After the funeral, close relatives noticed the pain of the husband and asked him, “Do you want us to take your daughter away for a few days so that you can have time to grieve?” The man replied, “No, we are going to face this together.” So that night as the father was putting his daughter to bed, she cried out, “Daddy, it is dark in here, may I sleep in your room?” His reply was, “Yes, you may sleep in my room.” As they went into the father’s room, he turned off the light, his little girl cried out again, “Daddy it is dark in here too.” The father said, “Yes baby, I know it is dark.” Then the little girl said, “Daddy it is darker than it has ever been.” The father replied, “Yes baby, it is darker than it has ever been to me too.” In the darkness, the little girl asked, “Daddy, is your face turned toward me?” The dad said, “Yes, my face is turned toward you.” She said, “I can go to sleep now.” After the little girl went to sleep, the father who was in such despair at the loss of his wife, fell down upon his knees and asked his Heavenly Father, “Daddy is your face turned toward me?” He heard a voice gently say from within, “Yes my face is turned toward you, my son.” The father said, “Okay, Daddy I am going to sleep now.”
We can read this story and think what a beautiful and heartfelt story. But, can I ask you a question… Is Daddy’s face toward you? Do you really know how much He loves YOU? Do you really know how much He tenderly and affectionately wants His very best for YOU?
I lived most of my Christian life not knowing, just believing He loved me. If you asked me does your Heavenly Father loves you? I would reply, “Of course, God loves me!” Ohhh! But I really didn’t KNOW His love. I knew about Him, loved Him, believed Him, obeyed Him, but I really didn’t KNOW. After being saved for 37 years, I really couldn’t comprehend His kind of love. I always felt when I did well, His face was toward me. When I messed up, His face was turned away in disgust. (Do you remember that look from your parents?) In 2016, when I lost everything I had known, my spiritual children, my business, and my health was when I discovered My Papa really LOVED ME. I was broken, hurting, and felt so alone and Papa led me to read a book by Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son. The book depicts the story of the prodigal son through the painting and life story of Rembrandt (I have this picture in my home). As I read the pages, Henri shared his life story and discoveries as he found himself in the painting. I was drawn into the pages as Papa begin to speak through them to me. What arrested my heart and soul in the pages was when I discovered myself as the Elder Son. You see, I had been the prodigal son and could relate to him intimately. But, as the Elder Son, I was riveted when I saw how I felt about my Father, and how I thought He felt about me. For years I had served my sisters and brothers, cared for them, loved them, and allowed Christ to minister to them through me. But, when I couldn’t minister anymore, I felt, “Okay, Papa, I guess I will just be a second class servant in the house.” After all these years of teaching and sharing truths of identity in Christ and not in works, I still in the core of my being, believed that doing was more important than being.
In the book, Henri described some characteristics of the Elder Son: easily judge and dismiss people who don’t believe or think like they do. Murmuring, whining, grumbling, and irritated with people who are different, especially their own brethren. Rejecting people who hold a different scriptural perspective. Self-righteousness was my badge because I knew deeper truths, which made me special. I didn’t know my Father’s true love for me outside of knowledge. Did you hear me? I thought because I knew His Word, I knew Him. I was caught in a lie. Knowledge only puffed me up so I couldn’t see Papa’s love which is clothed in Humility. I was so lost and didn’t even know it. Arrogance and pride held the keys to my imprisonment. I longed for Papa to love me, like me, and to see “I was being a good girl” by pleasing Him, helping others, and doing good. When I saw the lie I believed, I repented and said, “Papa, I am so sorry, I believed the lie, I have believed all of my life, that doing will make you love me more. The truth has opened my eyes today, YOU LOVE ME EVEN IF I NEVER DID ANOTHER THING FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE… BUT JUST BE WHO I AM IN YOU!” For months, I just enjoyed my Papa and I resigned my life to doing nothing, as far as ministry was concerned for the rest of our life together. Months later, He wanted to write children’s books and write blogs. So here we are!
Ask your ABBA, Father, and Daddy, “Do You Really Love Me and Is Your Face Toward Me or Away From Me?” Let me know what He says. I believe He will say this:
Psalms 22:24 –For He has not despised nor detested the suffering of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He listened.
Prayer: Thank you, Papa, you love me so much! Your face is always toward me no matter how I act or don’t act. Your love for me is indescribable, it is a love that is not of this world. Your love transcends all that we could ever think or believe about who You really are. Thank you, Papa, I am still growing and discovering the depths of Your Love! Amen