Blog # 198 God Our FatherRegularly when I pray I find myself thinking about the fatherhood of God. I ask such questions as what did Jesus mean when He spoke of our Father, how can I discover more deeply and meaningfully the truth contained in the statement of Jesus that God is our Father. What does it mean to me personally to imagine God as my Father rather than as my King, my Lord, my Judge? Do I really know and love God as a Father? Would I be ready, willing, and happy to walk through the door of death at this moment to live in the presence of God my Father forever? What did Jesus mean when He said not every one who says Lord, Lord, but he who does the will of my Father will know the Kingdom of God? Important questions!
Even years ago when I worked in the small garden in back of our church, I reflected upon these and similar questions. In my relationship to the earth and to the plants I saw myself in a similar situation as to how God relates to all creation. I thought within myself how my attitude toward the plants could serve as a way of understanding a little better the attitude of God toward myself and others.I was there working with the plants and caring for them. We believe this of the attitude of God towards us. He is with us caring for us. One night when our weather had been particularly dry I found myself out in the garden watering the vegetables between eleven thirty and midnight. This reminded me of God's constant vigil over us, His willingness to be present to our needs, His generous giving of gifts, night and day. As I watered the tomato plants one by one, calling each by the name of a Saint, I thought of the meaning and beauty of the Bible texts that reveal to us that calls each of us by name, that He loves every one of us individually, and cares for each of us as if there were no other. I thought of how I really didn't need the tomato plants nor the tomatoes they would produce, but nonetheless I wanted them. I had plenty to eat available to me in the local stores, friends who would bring me tomatoes, and money to buy what I needed. Yet I wanted the tomatoes growing in the garden. I planted them just where they were growing, my desire for them was for them to grow the best they could, to be the best they could be, for their sake as it were. rather than my own. I thought within myself, so it is with God our Father, how wonderful His love for us, and how marvelous His Name in all the earth! Now, years later, that is my prayer each morning as I go out the back door and attempt to get down the back steps without falling, on my way over to the church: O Lord, our Father, how admirable is Your Name in all the earth! Our Father... If we only stopped to realize it, over six billion people living in the world today are included in that prayer. Each of them is created known and loved to some degree by the Father Creator of all. I cannot go to them physically to comfort thank them or share my faith with them face to face, but I can bring them into my prayer. Our Father...lead us not into temptation ...deliver us from evil. Amen! Lord, Father and Creator, how admirable is Thy Name in all the earth!