My father was like a lot of men in his era, stern, fearless and stubborn. My mom blamed it on his Norwegian heritage. Sometimes this meant that life didn’t work out the way that I would have liked it to. Other times the consistency gave me a sense of peace.
When I was a young boy, I was like many other boys of my age, and I was afraid of the dark. My dad, stern and stubborn, would not allow me a night light because he wanted me to work through my fears and trust that he was not going to allow anything to happen to me. Eventually I did overcome them because my dad was true to his word.
My dad’s name was Milfred (They thought about naming him Melford but his father didn’t like Ford’s). My name for him was daddy because that’s who he was to me. He was the one who protected me, loved me, guided me and, sometimes even disciplined me. I could be assured that He wanted the best for me and would do anything he needed to make sure that happened. Was he perfect? Far from it. But, in many ways, he was the daddy I needed.
During the time of Jesus, they didn’t use the English term of daddy, they used the word Abba. It was something a young boy or girl would call their father, a term of affection that meant volumes to children who saw their fathers as supermen because it seemed they could overcome most anything.
This was the term that Jesus lovingly applied to His Father in heaven. When He came to Him in the garden of Gethsemane, he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet, not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36). In his greatest hour of need, he was as a young child again, trusting in his daddy to do what was right, trusting in his superman to help Him fulfill His calling. In his hour of need, it was His Abba he sought out.
It should give us incredible comfort to know that the same Abba that Jesus went to when He needed strength, is the same who claims us as His children endowed with the same benefit.
After all we have done to prove our unworthiness to be called sons and daughters of the Most High, He still prepares for us a place to be with Him forever. Even after all of our efforts to become slaves to sin He reminds us, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons (and daughters), by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15). “And because you are sons (and daughters), God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6).
All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons and daughters of God. All who place their trust in Him have the right to call Him Abba. “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may be glorified with Him” (Romans 8: 16-17).
Our life as the children of God has no promises to be trial free. But when trials arrive, we have certainty that our Abba will be there to protect us and guide us. Sometimes it might mean we have to suffer for His name, but, in the end, there will come a time when our trials have ended and all that remains is glory.
Our Father in heaven longs to be your Abba. If the decision to surrender your all so that this may happen is within you, then He will prove His faithfulness to you in great and mighty ways.
If you make this decision, does that mean that everything will go the way you wants it to? No. God knows that our needs have to overrule our wants. But He will remain consistent in His love for us, His children. He will always serve as the perfect example of an Abba who will never leave us or forsake us. And He will fulfill His promises to us as only He can. Please pray with me:
Abba, thank you for loving us enough to wants to be our Father. Thank you for claiming us as your own and for giving us all we need to prepare us for an eternal life in glory with You. Forgive us when we have played the part of the ungrateful child and help us to grow in You to maturity. Amen.