September 28, 2011

Fathers and daughters

Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks of our busy lives is that parents are too preoccupied to watch their children. I don’t mean watching that they don’t play in traffic or get into the medicine cabinet, although that can be a problem. What I’m thinking is being too busy to watch them play, draw pictures, sniff flowers and be with them as they do the things that children do.

When I read this verse, I thought of my father watching me learn to ride a bicycle. 

The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man. . . . (Psalm 33:13)
My parents were there when I struggled with homework and learned how to draw. They noticed when I needed a snack or a hug. They often stopped what they were doing to help or just be with me. How delightful to know that God is like that.

Not everyone enjoyed the same parenting that I did, but all can have the same heavenly Father. This verse show His attentiveness, His graciousness toward humanity. Some versions use the word “stoop” to describe how He attends to our needs, even our wants.

God is Spirit, yet He “walked” in Eden with Adam and Eve. When they disobeyed Him, He graciously covered their sin and gave them another chance. He stoops to behold how our sin creates such sorrow and ruin in our lives. He sees the world full of iniquity, but will not judge it without giving us opportunity for redemption and eternal life.

Our Father inclines His ear from the highest glory and puts it to the lip of any sinner whose failing heart longs after reconciliation. He hears and saves all who call out to Him and put their faith in the One who stooped to die for their sin.

How can I not love a Father who numbers the very hairs of my head, marks my path and orders my ways? He cares about my spiritual concerns, but also my temporal needs, even the trivia of my life. He helps me order each day and gives me answers for my problems. There is a great distance between the infinite Creator and my brief existence, but He stoops to watch over and care for me.

Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. (Psalm 33:18–19)
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. (Psalm 103:13)
God listens to every sigh, His ear is moved toward my whispered prayers, even those that have not yet escaped my heart. He gave me Jesus who is my life and my righteousness. He sees my sin, but covered in the blood of His Son who died for me. He grants me a faith that will reach His heart, stay His hand or move His arm. 
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. . . . (2 Chronicles 16:9)
If the busyness of life messed with God’s attentiveness toward His children, we would quickly wither and die. Our physical and spiritual lives depend on our God who sits on high — yet stoops toward us. No matter how well we do, or how poor and needy we are, the Lord thinks about us and watches over us. He is a perfect parent, caring deeply for us in our imperfect and needy lives.
Father, I am thankful for a loving earthly father who paid attention to his children and modeled for me a favorable image of You. Yet Your attention and care go beyond even the best of fathers. You are never too busy to stop and stoop. You are never too occupied to listen and respond. Your ears are never so filled with competing cries that You cannot hear my weakest whimpers. Today, I am grateful that You look down from heaven and see Your children. I’m also glad that I can tell others who do not know You that Your big heart is inclined toward them and Your arms are open to also welcome them into Your family.

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