Slightly Obsessed #099 "A Daddy's Love" by Pamela Thorson on 2015-02-11 08:55:48
“You have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” —Romans 8:15
“Abba! An informal Aramaic term for Father that conveys a sense of intimacy. Like the English words for ‘Daddy’ or ‘Papa,’ it connotes tenderness, dependence, and a relationship free of fear or anxiety.” — John MacArthur
The child in the old black-and-white print can’t be more than several months old. Wisps of blonde hair frame a cherubic face. Her wide, toothless grin lights up the room. She is perched on someone’s lap, her fat little hands clutched around the tanned, large fingers steadying her. Her eyes, focused adoringly on the face beyond the camera, say it all:
For more than sixty years, those same hands never let her go. They steadied her as she took her first steps, propelled her down the country lane on her first bike, and released her to her groom. Her daddy stayed up evenings helping her with her homework, and he stayed up nights watching until she made it home safely.
He took on any errant teacher, bus driver, or bully that dared to hurt his little girl.
He cried the day he walked her down the aisle. He proudly pronounced each new grandchild the perfect addition. Over the decades he abundantly lavished his prayers, finances, and time on his beloved family.
He cheered every victory and grieved over every heartache as if it were his own. Besides my husband, he has been my refuge, one who makes me feel safe and cherished. I still run to him when I’ve fallen down and skinned my soul.
The cherub is now old and gray. But my earthly daddy is still here, teaching me the meaning of true fatherhood.
Glenn T. Stanton of Focus on the Family recently challenged the association of the term Abba with “Daddy.”* But his objection appears to be with the nuances attached to the word “Daddy,” rather than its description of a loving relationship with our heavenly Father.
When a child sees her father, she doesn’t agonize over the subtleties of his name. She recognizes the face of someone who loves her. She rejoices in who he is. In arguing the linguistic origins of the word Abba, we may strain out the gnat only to swallow the camel. In our haste to ensure we haven’t muddied the name of the Father, we may relegate a beautiful English word picture to a shallow grave out of fear of being irreverent.
Our Father in heaven loves us. He loves who we are, just as we are. Every pure action we attribute to our earthly fathers has its origin in Him. Whether we call Him “Father” or “Daddy,” we owe Him our complete respect and absolute adoration.
I don’t call my dad “Daddy” anymore. But when I’m with him, I still see the same unconditional love that captured my heart as a child. In the same way, my love for God has grown and matured through the years. But He’s still Abba, Father.
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. Her second book, Out from the Shadows: 31 Devotions for the Weary Caregiver, released in 2014. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
Has a more beautiful declaration ever been written? Without that truth, we would have been forever lost to life. But because God had all authority firmly in His grasp, Satan had no chance of wresting the universe from Him. Because God reigns, Jesus could heal sickness, forgive sins, and conquer death. Because God is in control, evil was outwitted. Because He is Lord, there is power behind the words, “It is finished.”
Slightly Obsessed #186: When the Path Ahead Is Fearsome
The room was dark and shadowed, the only sound within its walls the rhythmic whoosh of the ventilator beside my son’s bed. I sat on an uncomfortable chair jammed into one corner of the room. In the faint light that fell from the window across the pages of the Bible I held, I tried to corral my stampeding fears long enough to find some comfort from God’s Word. Outside the door of his room, a cacophony of voices from the nurses’ station jarred our shattered nerves.
Slightly Obsessed #185: Clean
They were just turning down the lights in the sanctuary as I awkwardly slid into a seat near the back of the church. I was tired and soiled by the previous week. Life had been especially difficult, and I had not handled the pressure well. I felt completely unhinged spiritually and wholly unworthy to be in God’s presence. The worship team began with one of my favorite songs, and I hoped I didn’t look as vulnerable as I felt.
Slightly Obsessed #184: The Mark of Maturity
The infant finishes his bottle and smiles contentedly up at his mother. A trickle of milk courses down from the corner of his mouth. It’s a sweet scene because that’s what babies do. They are born with immature digestive systems and no teeth. Mother’s milk or formula are necessary for the child to survive and thrive. As they grow, their teeth begin to come in, their digestive abilities mature, and they can tolerate solid food.
Slightly Obsessed #183: He Knows Your Name
All sheep look alike to me. Defenseless, timid, and nondescript creatures, they tend to wander and get into trouble. When one falls, it needs help to get back on its feet. Its purpose in life is mostly to eat and make more sheep. It’s easy to see why Jesus equated them to humans. A line of sheep looks like a sea of wool and blank stares, huddled in a timid group behind their leader.
Slightly Obsessed #182 "When Speaking the Truth Makes You the Enemy"
The apostle Paul loved the people of God. After his conversion to Christ, he spent his life not only establishing churches, but also ministering to their needs. He often had the unpleasant duty of confronting issues that threatened the fledgling church, and his letters to the Galatians and to the Corinthians were especially aimed at keeping the churches rooted in the faith.