Our father can rescue us from peril.
I took a dare from my older brother to climb the big poplar tree in our front yard. The branches were the perfect distance apart for my little legs to reach and climb. I was so proud to be up in the limbs a few feet above the ground, feeling the wind rustle through the leaves around me. I felt brave and carefree. It was great!
That is, until I noticed a huge bee flying around my head. Not only one bee, but several buzzed around me. My carefree attitude blew away in the breeze as I became downright scared. I did what any five year old would do. I screamed and cried for help to get me down out of the tree! I climbed up there, but couldn’t climb down.
Paralyzed with fear, I clung to the tree trunk. Mom tried to calm me down. My brother was no help; he went off to play with friends, abandoning me in the tree.
It was an endless afternoon stuck in the tree. Long minutes passed. I cried for my dad to come home to help me.
Relief came when my father arrived home from work. Seeing the commotion in the front yard and hearing my cries, he rushed to the tree. Stepping onto the lowest branch, he coaxed me to let go of the thick limb that I desperately hugged. Slowly, shaking in fear, I put my foot onto a limb where he could pull me from tree. Rescued from the bees and the height of the branches, I sobbed in the security in his arms.
My father heard me and rescued me.
The Bible promises many times that when we cry out to God, he will hear us and respond to us. He is a loving, caring father.
You, Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name. Isaiah 63:16
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. Psalm 103:13
In the New Testament Jesus taught us to pray in a way that shocked those around him. It was unheard of to speak to Yahweh in such an intimate term.
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…” Matthew 6:9
God is further described as a good, giving father by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, using this phrase of deepest intimacy in calling to God—abba.
Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will. Mark 14:36
Later in Scripture we are given permission to use the same endearing term to God.
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:15-16
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6
In 2002 my earthly father passed away. Although we did not have a particularly close relationship, I still grieved my loss. God comforted me greatly at that time. While I had always viewed God as my heavenly father, I didn’t fully grasp the depth of this truth until I no longer had an earthly father. God’s love comforted me in my sorrow. He did not remain far off, but truly became my Heavenly Father who cares deeply for me.
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1
God is the perfect Father, not like our imperfect earthly fathers.
For some, their relationship with their father may not be positive, while for others it might bring joy. Our experience can affect how we view God as the Heavenly Father.
The Word of God demonstrates the best view—how He deeply loves us and will not leave us. Our heavenly Father has rescued us from the perils of sin and death.Even in times when God seems far off, we can remember that he is the loving Heavenly Father.