Abba Father

If you read this page frequently you’ll know how incredibly powerful it has been for me to grow to embrace the Almighty God of the universe as my Abba Father. These words continue to work their way into my heart with ever-greater reality:

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15).

Of all the discoveries in my life over the past 15 years, none has meant more and none has been more powerful in reshaping my life. I am blessed to find God as a tender Father through the twist and turns of my journey in this age. Instead of being frustrated at him when he doesn’t give me what I want or trying to find the right prayer or bargain for God to give me what I think is best, I am finding the joy of simply learning to trust him as a tender Father.

I resonate with John’s words:

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.” I John 4:13

I can imagine John in his twilight years reflecting on his entire spiritual journey in that simple phrase. I hope when I am older I am able to say with the same sense of resolve. As for now, I am simply learning this reality each day. There are some places in my life where I live truly loved, and their are other spaces in my heart that struggle to believe it’s true. At the end of my days, I’d want to say them with such finality as he did here. To trust God as my Abba, puts him in every situation with me and even in the difficult ones he doesn’t fix the way I want, I know he is never against me. Even when in sternness he disciplines me to live more freely in him, or asks of me more than I think I have to give, it is my Abba behind it all and that makes it easier to submit to his ways.

A big part of God’s instruction to me in this arena has been in my emotions and love for my own children, and now for my growing brood of grandchildren. i can’t believe how much I loved them, right from birth. I love the relationship I have with each of them and how much they enjoy being with their grandpa. I know the tenderness I want them to feel in me, and the fierceness that would protect them at all costs. A year or so ago, my daughter took the above picture of me when I was so deep in a conversation with Aimee that I wasn’t even aware that her mom was taking pictures. When I saw it the first time, my heart leapt. It has become the picture that illustrates “Abba” for me–a child quietly at rest in the arms of someone she completely trusts.

Last week as Sara and I were returning home from a vacation in the nearby Sierras, we stopped to have lunch with some long-time friends. As we walked into their dining room she directed my attention to the wall on which hung her watercolor adaptation of that picture. It took my breath way. They said it was a gift and we returned home to hang it on our wall.

Here it is:

Every time I look at not only do I get to celebrate that special bond that Aimee and I share, but even more special is the reminder that the God who made heaven and earth delights in being my Abba. There is no safer place to be, even at my worst, than on his lap, wrapped in his incredible love. There every difficult thing in my life fades in the absolute wonder of who he is and the relationship he wants to keep carving out with me.

And that is as true for every one of you reading these words.

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16 Comments
  1. kent August 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    What a special gift. What a special reality it is for us to awaken to.

  2. kent August 16, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    As I was reading this and smiling, this excerpt from a blessing came to mind. What you describe above Wayne is what we were brought here for….To live loved and to love. Fear somewhere along the way entered in and began to erode the reality that we have always been safe and loved and welcome within the embrace of Father.

    “To postpone my dream no longer, but to do at last what I came here for. And waste my heart on fear no more. “

  3. kent August 16, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    What a special gift. What a special reality it is for us to awaken to.

  4. kent August 16, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    As I was reading this and smiling, this excerpt from a blessing came to mind. What you describe above Wayne is what we were brought here for….To live loved and to love. Fear somewhere along the way entered in and began to erode the reality that we have always been safe and loved and welcome within the embrace of Father.

    “To postpone my dream no longer, but to do at last what I came here for. And waste my heart on fear no more. “

  5. Patti August 17, 2011 at 11:07 am

    What a lovely gift! I’ve personally learned so many lessons about God through being a mother and grandmother. I love what you said about tenderness and fierceness.

  6. Patti August 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    What a lovely gift! I’ve personally learned so many lessons about God through being a mother and grandmother. I love what you said about tenderness and fierceness.

  7. Lloyd Clark August 17, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Amen, amen , amen

  8. Lloyd Clark August 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Amen, amen , amen

  9. Gert August 18, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Thanks for sharing!!!!
    What a beautiful painting!!!

  10. Gert August 18, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Thanks for sharing!!!!
    What a beautiful painting!!!

  11. Me August 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Wow, what a talent she is!!! Beautiful, beautiful! I love it! I’m always amazed by people who have a gift for painting realistically….this one is like seeing the photo again. Love, love, love it! Love the moment, the photo, the people in it, the message behind it, the God-given gift in the painter, and the love and generosity within the heart of the painter. All of it is so beautiful!

    Thank you, Wayne, for your heart that won’t stop longing for more of God’s love, and for all that you give to so many people. I am one of them who has been touched by what you have given and continue to give.

    Today, I am praying God’s grace over you for whatever growth and trial you may be experiencing. And I simply want to honor you from the bottom of my heart. I count it a blessing that you are on the earth in my lifetime, and that I have been able to receive from God through gifts that you have offered as freely as you know how. I’m actually crying as I write this. I don’t mind that you are not perfect or that you don’t know everything there is to know. I simply appreciate how much you have to give, and how freely you have given it. Your gifts have been very important in my own life. Thank God there is peace that passes all understanding…..because who in the world has all the understanding???!!! 🙂 ….Not me by a long stretch!

    Here’s to growth, learning, overcoming in the midst of trial, change and adaptation, and the beautiful Body of Christ – in which each part only sees in part….but whatever we do see…..it’s a beautiful view!

    Thank you, much love, and God BLESS!!!

  12. Me August 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Wow, what a talent she is!!! Beautiful, beautiful! I love it! I’m always amazed by people who have a gift for painting realistically….this one is like seeing the photo again. Love, love, love it! Love the moment, the photo, the people in it, the message behind it, the God-given gift in the painter, and the love and generosity within the heart of the painter. All of it is so beautiful!

    Thank you, Wayne, for your heart that won’t stop longing for more of God’s love, and for all that you give to so many people. I am one of them who has been touched by what you have given and continue to give.

    Today, I am praying God’s grace over you for whatever growth and trial you may be experiencing. And I simply want to honor you from the bottom of my heart. I count it a blessing that you are on the earth in my lifetime, and that I have been able to receive from God through gifts that you have offered as freely as you know how. I’m actually crying as I write this. I don’t mind that you are not perfect or that you don’t know everything there is to know. I simply appreciate how much you have to give, and how freely you have given it. Your gifts have been very important in my own life. Thank God there is peace that passes all understanding…..because who in the world has all the understanding???!!! 🙂 ….Not me by a long stretch!

    Here’s to growth, learning, overcoming in the midst of trial, change and adaptation, and the beautiful Body of Christ – in which each part only sees in part….but whatever we do see…..it’s a beautiful view!

    Thank you, much love, and God BLESS!!!

  13. Garry August 18, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Amen to Me (above) 🙂

  14. Garry August 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Amen to Me (above) 🙂

  15. kelly August 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    nothing to say but yes… amen

  16. kelly August 19, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    nothing to say but yes… amen

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