When my husband and I got engaged, his friend Hal thought it was necessary to educate me on the ways of marriage. Hal was schooled in matrimony by his wife from Venezuela, and now that he was no longer wild and free, he considered himself a marital expert of sorts. We were standing in front of my new undecorated house, and Bruce was helping unload my many heavy bundles from the car.
“Soon, she will call you, Papi, and you will come running,” he predicted.
I bristled at the remark.
“Papi” is a Spanish term of endearment for Father, but many Hispanic women also use it as a pet name for their husbands.
I looked at Bruce and declared, “I promise you, I will never call you Papi.”
That was 8 years ago.
I’ve discovered much about the love of the Father by observing my husband. He delights in playing peekaboo with our grandson. He delays judgment when the phone doesn’t ring on his birthday. Hours are dedicated at his workbench to fix a beloved toy. He consistently deposits gifts of grace in our lives and never demands anything in return.
When I am heartbroken and ready to give up, Bruce will often reach out to enclose me in His loving arms and say, “Come to Papa.”
Friends, we are secure in our Father’s embrace.
He loves prodigals and cry babies and spoiled brats alike.
He longs to shelter us.
I desperately want to live intimately connected to my Father. But, sometimes my greedy heart gets in the way. I am highly distracted by the baubles of this world. I confess I’m great at binge watching HGTV, but frequently fall asleep with my Bible in my lap. Rather than slow down and sit at the feet of the Father, I often run ragged and fail to remember Him. Instead of nuzzling close to my Abba, I spend too much time nursing a bad attitude.
To truly know the Father, I must study His ways and stop demanding my own way:
Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from Him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity… Stay with what you heard from the beginning, the original message. Let it sink into your life. If what you heard from the beginning lives deeply in you, you will live deeply in both Son and Father. This is exactly what Christ promised: eternal life, real life! (I John 2:15-17, 24-25 MSG)
I’ve started praying for God to awaken my senses to His love.
I want to see the evidences of His goodness and grace.
“I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13, AMP)
Hear the whisper of His still small voice.
“Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.” (Proverbs 3:6, MSG)
Taste the sweetness of His Word.
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! “ (Psalm 119:103).
Smell the fragrance of His sacrifice.
“Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” (Ephesians 5:2, NLT)
Feel the tenderness of His touch.
“Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand.” (Psalm 73:23, NASB).
Our Father will never demand our love, but He delights in those moments when we crawl up into His lap and cry out “Papa.” What are you waiting for? Turn off the television screen and snuggle in close.
Peekaboo, God sees you. Come cozy up close to the Father.
About the Author:
Lyli Dunbar enjoys karaoke in the car with her husband, digging into Bible study with the girls, and reading 12 books at a time. A writer, speaker, and mentor, her burning passion is to know Jesus and to make Him known. Join her at lylidunbar.com to find fuel for a wildfire faith. You may also connect with Lyli on Facebook, Instagram,Twitter, You Tube and Pinterest.