The Father's smile

So much of our spirituality and religion is greatly affected by who we know God to be. A.W. Tozer said, "Nothing twists and deforms the soul more than a low or unworthy conception of God." We all have within us a gallery images of who God is, and those images dramatically affect our responses to Him. This gallery greatly affects the faith and religion we live out each day in relationship with God. The trouble is many, if not most of those images are distorted at best or entirely false at worst. This God many of us relate and respond to is not the God of scripture, and we begin to wonder why some of us live out such a grim, hard, and loveless faith each day.

It is because the God we have come to believe is distant and hard to please. God becomes a cold Father demanding your work without encouragement or love or pride in you. It is very difficult to serve that god with enthusiasm or joy. It is difficult not to chalk up other more enthusiastic brothers and sisters to fanaticism when the god you know is cold, removed, and grim. But this is not the God presented in scripture. This is the god of the Pharisees and he will always drive a Pharisaic religion and faith.

The moment I was first ambushed by the love of God is when I came to see the Father of Scripture who loves and delights in me, His son. He comes close to me in a true fellowship where I can find rest and healing. He is not hard to please.

Yes, he disciplines us, but I have come to know His delight and smile. He will correct and challenge me with the smile of a Father who is tender and proud. My Abba is proud of me and knows I am His "imperfect by promising" son. I see His delighted smile which knows I am coming to look more and more like my Abba every day.

Medicine Man

A man's heart was terribly sick. He came to meet a traveling Healer who gave him a bottle of heart medicine. Not sold, but gave! The bottle is shiny and clean, but more importantly, it is rare. Without opening it, the man attaches the bottle to his jacket to wear as a medal, but it is only one. So he goes to find the Healer to ask for more bottles. Many trips later, his jacket is full of shiny bottles of heart medicine.

He thanks the Healer that he has been gifted all these bottles no one else has, especially that poor slop of a woman on the other side of town.

The woman? Oh she is another story who encountered the same Healer. She had also come to him with a sick heart, but her heart was sickened by her own poor choices and worse actions. She came in search of the Healer to work tirelessly serving Him and paying respects.

The Healer gave her the strongest bottle He had. She drank the entire bottle and found complete healing for her sick heart. Her love for the Healer was greater than anyone has ever known or heard of again.