Knowing God the Father

Many things come to mind when the word “father” is mentioned. One’s experience with fathers can determine how God is viewed. Human fathers can be anywhere on the scale from terrible to wonderful, fully engaged to absentee and every point in between. Unfortunately, we often project human characteristics onto God, based on our own and others’ experiences. 

Jesus knew his Father better than anyone and he told a story in Luke 15 to illustrate, first the way God’s kingdom works and second, to explain what his Father is like. It’s called the parable of the Prodigal Son but perhaps it should be called “A Father’s Love.” Our inclination is to focus on the bad behavior of the younger son and then we might be dismayed about the reaction of the older son. Yes, many of us see ourselves in the sons’ misdeeds, but if we look at the father’s actions, we get a good picture of God as a father was meant to be. 

We first see him acquiescing to the demands of the younger son – let’s call him Jack – when he basically tells his dad he wishes he were dead and wants his inheritance now. Dad seems to agree without argument or objection. When Jack comes limping home, hungry, dirty and broke, Dad abandons propriety, lifts his robe and runs down the road toward him. He barely lets Jack get his rehearsed apology out of his mouth before calling for a robe, ring and big roasted dinner. He tells his older son he should come to the party, to celebrate his brother who was dead but came back to life, who was lost and is now found.   

A more beautiful picture of a father’s love has never been painted. We are indeed like the brothers in this story, one or the other or both at times, but more importantly, God our Father is full of love and compassion, even when we go completely off the rails. Being welcomed into his arms, forgiven and even celebrated sounds almost too good to be true. No matter what we’ve experienced in this life, we can be sure God is a father like no other and will always welcome us home. He is our home, our safe place, the one who provides and nurtures, with unconditional love, unlimited grace, deep compassion and unimaginable mercy.

Author: ttkach

Writer, cyclist, paper-crafter, mom, gardener.

One thought on “Knowing God the Father”

  1. Beautiful account of Our Heavenly Father! He is LOVE and will always be near to each of His children. ALL of us!!

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