“No earthly father loves like Thee,
No mother e’er so mild
Bears and forbears as Thou hast done
With me, Thy sinful child.”
One of the most wonderful of all the descriptions of God is as our Father. Christ Himself taught us this in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your FATHER which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven…” (Matthew 5:44,45)
“When you pray, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:6) Jesus is teaching about prayer. The first thing in prayer is to meet the Father. The light that shines on us in prayer is the light of the Father’s countenance. In the place of prayer we see His Father-love and can respond to Him with simple, child-like trust. Jesus teaches us that when we seek to wait upon God alone, the Father will reveal Himself to us.
“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matthew 6:8) The Father knows what we need and we do not have to compel Him to listen to us with many words. The Father sees us, He knows and He hears.
If He sees us, hears us, knows us, and has chosen in His great mercy to bring us near to Himself, then what hinders us from trusting Him to reveal to us the beauty of His Father love? The only reasonable and worthy response of our hearts is to address the Eternal God as our Father, “Our Father, which art in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9)
“Vast Thy love, how deep, how wide,
In the gift of Him who died;
Righteous claims all satisfied,
Father, we adore Thee.”
Is this Father in heaven, this Eternal Father, who spared not His Son to redeem us, not worthy that we should trust Him absolutely to be the Father that He desires? Does such knowledge not call out from our hearts the desire and will to trust Him as His children, in order that we should be all that He would have us be? Oh, may He give us grace to grasp what it truly means for us to say, “OUR Father which art in heaven…,” and what it means to Him to hear our voice. And may we live fully in the reality of such blessing, rejoicing in this relationship which is as unchanging as His heart.