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Calling Our Heavenly Father

By |2024-07-04T02:33:14-04:00July 4th, 2024|

Minutes after U.S. President Harry Truman announced the end of World War II, a phone rang in a small clapboard house in Grandview, Missouri. A ninety-two-year-old woman excused herself to take the call. Her guest heard her say, “Hello. . . . Yes, I’m all right. Yes, I’ve been listening to the radio. . . . Now you come and see me if you can. . . . Goodbye.” The elderly woman returned to her guest. “That was [my son] Harry. Harry’s a wonderful man. . . . I knew he’d call. He always calls me after something that happens is over.”

No matter how accomplished, no matter how old, we yearn to call our parents. To hear their affirming words, “Well done!” We may be wildly successful, but we’ll always be their son or daughter.

Sadly, not everyone has this kind of relationship with their earthly parents. But through Jesus we all can have God as our Father. We who follow Christ are brought into the family of God, for “the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship” (v. 15). We’re now “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (v. 17). We don’t speak to God as a slave but now have the freedom to use the intimate name Jesus used in His hour of desperate need, “Abba, Father” (v. 15; see also Mark 14:36).

Do you have news? Do you have needs? Call the one who is your eternal home.

Under God’s Wings

By |2023-10-31T02:33:27-04:00October 31st, 2023|

There are several Canada goose families with baby geese at the pond near our apartment complex. The little goslings are so fluffy and cute, it’s hard not to watch them when I go for a walk or run around the pond. But I’ve learned to avoid eye contact and give the geese a wide berth—otherwise, I risk a protective goose parent suspecting a threat and hissing and chasing me!

The image of a bird protecting her young is one that Scripture uses to describe God’s tender, protective love for His children (Psalm 91:4). In Psalm 61, David seems to be struggling to experience God’s care in this way once more. He’d experienced God as his “refuge, a strong tower” (v. 3), but now he called desperately “from the ends of the earth,” pleading, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (v. 2). He longed to once more “take refuge in the shelter of [God’s] wings” (v. 4).

And in bringing his pain and longing for healing to God, David took comfort in knowing that He had heard him (v. 5). Because of God’s faithfulness, he knew he would “ever sing in praise of [His] name” (v. 8).

Like the psalmist, when we feel distant from God’s love, we can run back to His arms to be assured that even in our pain, He’s with us, protecting and caring for us as fiercely as a mother bird guards her young.

Knowing and Loving

By |2023-10-12T02:33:22-04:00October 12th, 2023|

In the powerful article “Does My Son Know You?” sportswriter Jonathan Tjarks wrote of his battle with terminal cancer and his desire for others to care well for his wife and young son. The thirty-four-year-old wrote the piece just six months prior to his death. Tjarks, a believer in Jesus whose father had died when he was a young adult, shared Scriptures that speak of care for widows and orphans (Exodus 22:22; Isaiah 1:17; James 1:27). And in words directed to his friends, he wrote, “When I see you in heaven, there’s only one thing I’m going to ask—Were you good to my son and my wife? . . . Does my son know you?”

King David wondered if there was “anyone still left of the house of Saul to whom [he could] show kindness for [his dear friend] Jonathan’s sake” (2 Samuel 9:1). A son of Jonathan, Mephibosheth, who was “lame in both feet” (v. 3) due to an accident (see 4:4), was brought to the king. David said to him, “I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table” (9:7). David showed loving care for Mephibosheth, and it’s likely that in time he truly got to know him (see 19:24–30).

Jesus has called us to love others just as He loves us (John 13:34). As He works in and though us, let’s truly get to know and love them well.

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