9 Things I’ve Learned About God From Being A Dad (Part Two)

Swaddling my 6-day old princess.

Hi friends! We’re going to pick up right where we left off. Our last post was focused on love & grace; this post dives into the deeper issues of pain and difficulty. My hope is that this will speak to you right where you’re at, and that you sense the nearness of God even in your difficult moments.

4. God doesn’t desire pain for you.

Pain is a part of Macey’s story, just as it’s a part of your story.  She falls everyday. She gets upset sometimes when she isn’t allowed to do or touch something. But the pain she experiences isn’t “my will” for her as her father.

Nobody makes it through life without experiencing immense pain. Death, sickness, sin, abuse, neglect, broken dreams, unfulfilled expectations…oh the world is full of pain. But we have to know that God is the author of life, not of pain. Go back to Eden…when did pain enter the world? It wasn’t until after Adam and Eve sinned. Pain is simply one of the fruits of sin.

We’re just starting the journey of learning how to appropriately discipline and train her in obedience. But pain is never the goal of discipline; the goal is obedience which is ultimately for her good. Even still it is never my desire as a father for her to experience pain.

There are two significant consequences to blaming God for your pain.

First, it destroys your relationship with God. If God causes you pain, then how can you ever trust him, let alone want to know him? Second, when you blame God for your pain, you close the only door available to true healing. Just listen to these attributes of God in scripture: Prince of peace, savior, healer, redeemer, counselor, shepherd, provider, burden-bearer, and God of all comfort.

The challenge we face is in accepting that God allows pain into our lives and that he will use it for our good, without blaming him for causing the pain. Macey falls a dozen times everyday…I could easily prevent this and save her from some measure of pain, but in the end it is for her good that I allow her to fall. But I do not cause her to fall. This distinction is everything. If she blames me for her falling she will run from me; if she trusts that I did not cause her to fall then she will run to me in her pain. And oh how I long to comfort her!

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” Romans 8:28
5. You have no idea how often God intervenes on your behalf.

Sometimes I feel like I’m in the business of rescuing Macey. Whether it’s keeping her from falling off the changing table or from eating the shiny object she found on the floor, I’m constantly keeping her from danger. And as much as I want credit for being her hero, she won’t remember any of it. In fact, most the time she isn’t even aware that I’m doing it. I often thank God for all the times he’s rescued me when I’m not even aware of it.

“But you, O God my Lord, deal on my behalf for your name’s sake; because your steadfast love is good, deliver me!” Psalm 109:21
6. God genuinely accepts you, right where you are.

Just yesterday Macey was having a tantrum (play time was over), and she started crying, threw herself on the ground, the whole nine yards. My immediate thought was “stop being such a baby.” Thankfully I caught myself, and had a good internal chuckle for wanting to call out a baby for…well…being a baby.

I tend to compare myself with others who are way ahead of me in life. And then I assume that God is disappointed in me because I don’t have their faith or their success. Of course we need to continue to grow and pursue our potential. But for you to have a healthy relationship with God you have to know that he accepts you right where you are.

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” Romans 15:7

God is for you my friend. He really really is. His love is unconditional for you, so for your sake, stop putting conditions on it and allow him to be a father to you.

Stay tuned for our next post as we wrap up this series.

-Wesley

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