I’ve been praying the Lord’s prayer lately. I feel peace and connection to God in praying the words whilst contemplating their meaning. Jesus, in his brilliance, gave us a prayer that is perfect, simple and deeply meaningful. For the last few weeks, I find myself ruminating on just the first two words.
The prayer begins with ‘Our Father’. I feel such peace and joy in that little tiny phrase. Jesus, the masters master of language, is purposed in choosing this opening. He shows us much about the nature of who we are and who God is. God is alive and we are the product of Him. He is watching over us and parenting us. He is invested in our lives.
I feel quieted and stilled just as soon as I begin the prayer. From within I am opened, respectful, grateful. I say the words ‘Our Father’ and I can feel His holy spirit come to me. I feel His presence come upon me like warm honey. He feels strong, gentle, assuring. My eyes tear up. I am comforted, I am held, I am loved.
‘Father’ is translated from the greek for pater; the root signifying “a nourisher, protector, upholder”. This means that God isn’t the kind of father that is absent, or uninvolved, or punitive. Rather, He is the father who gives us what we need both physically and spiritually. He protects us, even from ourselves (as evidenced through sending His son), and He confirms and supports our true purpose and identity.
When my children become aware of something new and feel excited about it, I love being able to share in the joy of discovery with them. I enjoy the conversations we have when they begin to ask me the most basic questions about systems and processes that are complex. It’s a delight to answer them simply and meet them at their level of comprehension. Guiding my children fills me with love and I imagine God interacts with us in much the same way.
Just as I have understanding my children are still growing into, God knows the world in dimensions I have yet to attain. God embodies mystery I haven’t yet dreamed of. Just as I can understand things at levels my children are years from comprehending, ‘Our Father’ understands things we are light years away from. Yet here He is, lovingly giving us the boundaries, wisdom, and support we need to continue on our journey. When I contemplate the words ‘Our Father’ in beginning to pray, the benevolence of God is palpable.
There is magic, wonder, beauty, bliss and freedom to be experienced that I am only just beginning to conceive. God is full of mystery and delight and He is here, teaching me the lessons I must learn to grow and mature. I have but to follow Him within the footsteps of faith.
God is real. He is loving and merciful. He is invested. He supports us. He corrects us. He gives to us and He also takes away. He guides us toward destinations unknown and sees with a scope we cannot fathom. He has given us the gift of this life, not to pain and punish us, but to affirm and nurture our growth as spiritual beings. He is Our Father, and He is very very good at what He does.
Thank you so much Father. May I use this time you’ve given me wisely. And may I always and forever walk with you by my side.