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Saturday, June 14 2014

Safe in My Father’s Arms...


Isn’t that what every girl (and guy) wants, to feel safe, accepted, known, and valued by their Daddy? No matter how old we get, there is that tug in our hearts to have our Dad’s love and acceptance. A girl desires to be seen as a princess and a guy to see that look of pride in his Dad’s eyes.


So many people who come into my office have never received that love and acceptance from their earthly fathers, or perhaps they received a tainted version of it: “I will love if”… you behave; make me happy; do what I expect you to do.  So many times the love of fathers has strings attached and even well-meaning fathers make mistakes.


The love we receive from our earthly father tends to affect our view of our Heavenly Father.  For example, if we have an authoritative, emotionally detached father, we tend to expect God to be that way too and view Him as distant and uninterested in our lives.  We imagine Him as a dad with high expectations who will be mad or withholding if we don’t live up to his wishes.  On the other hand, if we have an overindulgent, enabling father, we might think of God as one who will give us what we want when we want it, and feel mad or disappointed when that doesn’t happen.


You get the picture. It’s hard to relax and receive our Heavenly Father’s love when we have misconceptions of His true character.


“As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him….”

Psalm 103:13 (NIV)



As we celebrate Father’s Day this year, we celebrate our human dads who are even at their best “perfectly imperfect.” Both the good and bad experiences shared with them have shaped us and formed us into who we are today.  We can celebrate this and be thankful for that impact.  We also celebrate our Heavenly Father who handpicked us and equipped us with gifts, talents, and desires to be used here on earth for our good and His glory.  His love for us is perfect; we can choose to count on that and allow our human fathers the gift of being who they are without demands to meet our needs.  Our perfect Heavenly Father adopted us, knows us, and enables us to love and be loved. Let’s not take any of it for granted.


“I instruct you in the way of wisdom 
and lead you along straight paths.  When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.”  Proverbs 4:11-13 (NIV)


“He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers….” Malachi 4:6 (NIV)




Let’s bless and celebrate our earthly fathers and our Heavenly Father this weekend, together we have all we need! Happy Father's Day!


Posted by: Angel H Davis AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

Benefits of Weariness


WOW! How weary I am. And so are many of you. I know because I hear your cries: in my office, on the phone, online, in church, at the grocery store, you name it! So much of what I hear from people today is about how tired, weary, and worn-out they feel.

Then again, you may not feel weary;  instead you may feel anxious, depressed, scared, lonely, angry, or any mixture of these emotions. Perhaps these are more your prominent feelings.


However you may feel, it’s too easy to look for the source or to find blame: social media; busy schedules; technology; work/family demands; the causes are endless. Of course, these have validity, and we can certainly manage them in more appropriate and successful ways.


Yet, as I sit with God today, in my quiet time, and look over my journals, what I see is the benefit of weariness—the benefit of our broken feelings and situations.

 I see, time and time again, over the years (yes, I am rebellious and slow-learning, and God is very, very patient), God working in me and through me, enabling me to receive His antidote to this tough life and all of its problems. 


It is so simple; and yet it is so hard.


It is HIM: Jesus; always more of Him.


“But,” you say, “Angel, I have to know what to do with my children,” or, “Angel, these bills are piling up,” or, “Angel, you don’t have a CLUE of how bad it really is.”


And I will say, “You are right, I don’t. And you are correct, these things need to be taken care of.” 


BUT FIRST, we have a larger need. Oh, the catch is it doesn’t appear like the larger need. Our core need, before bills, children, purpose in life, change in our feelings, is to be convinced, truly convinced and accepting of God’s love for us and our identity as His children.


And your heart and head may rebel like mine did.


“BUT, I need to know the answer to my problem.” 

And Jesus says:

“I am the answer.”

“I am so tired.”

And Jesus says:

“I know. Let me restore you.”

“I am afraid.”

And Jesus says:

“I know, and my love will take care of that.”


That just doesn’t seem like much; doesn’t seem like enough, when we are about to be evicted or our kids are in harm’s way. That support just doesn’t seem practical enough for our human brains to rest on.


Perhaps then we’ve hit on the real source or problem of our weariness: ourselves. You and me believing that if we work hard enough, try enough, worry enough, take enough time to figure it out, talk enough to that person, ignore it long enough—whatever your “enough” is—WE can fix it. The true problem is that it’s all about US!


We want to stay in the driver’s seat and be our own savior. Or we look to other humans to be that for us. If we believe our answer lies in us or other humans, we are likely to stay in that “out of control” anxious space, and the weariness or depression or addictions are bound to take over. There can only be one driver in our car of life.


The benefit of our struggle is to be wooed into the true solution. Life’s struggles are an invitation to know God more intimately. As we allow Jesus, who is ALIVE, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to become more real for us, more tangible, as we take Him at His word (Hebrews 13:5), as we choose to focus on Him and His promises, instead of the problems or feelings we are having, then we start to experience the reality of His presence with us.  With this, we begin to experience the peace He promises.

Why? Because our problems have been solved? The bills have all been paid? The feelings change?

NO…  peace comes from HIS presence. And in that place of peace we can see clearer, hear more accurately, and receive wisdom and direction.


As we “bend our knee” to Jesus’ love, dare to take Him at His word (John 3:16), choose to look to Him and depend on Him, and keep (John 17) depending on Him, then His life-blood starts to flow through us. It revives us, directs us, and transforms our thinking and feelings. Then life and all of its troubles, which are many (John 16:33), become manageable, doable.


Breath comes; rest comes; peace comes.


In this place new life springs forth. New ideas emerge and joy is eventually restored.


Struggling today? Rejoice in it, because it is calling you back home. Home to His heart of love (Romans 8:38-39), the place of true peace and rest. 

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