“Papa!” She calls across the slope of tall grasses. “Papa. I want my papa.”
Grandpa is one of her heroes. Lucky girl, at age 5, she’s got several family figures who point her to Jesus with their lives. Blessed, to be sure. And being that she is an only child, she is surrounded by adults who love her. A house full of people who have come alongside my husband and I to raise her up.
Her favorite games to play with the grown ups are hide-and-seek and piggy-backs. She often demands that whoever is nearest give her a ride up on their shoulders to the destination of her choosing.
She is fond of her Papa, though, and so demanding of his attention.
As the two of them walk down from the lake house to meet us at the dock, Papa’s long legs carry him farther and faster, while she struggles to clomp over dirt mounds and thistle weeds.
“Papa, wait!” she cries, and he crouches down to let her climb onto his back. He carries her across the field of lake brush down to the water’s edge to view the sunrise.
I see this thinking of how my Heavenly Father has carried me over some pretty sticky situations in life. All I need is to call out to Him. And He bends low to pick me up. He is my savior, my hero, and my God. How deserving He is of my affections.
My little girl climbs upon her Papa’s back trusting that he will bring her safely across the thorn bushes. How she adores him, sees him both reverently and with total belief that he has only the best intentions for her.
I recall her memory verse, Luke 18:16, “Let the children come to me…for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Such as these. I believe this is the type of relationship we are to have with our Heavenly Father. Like a child. Because when we receive God’s Spirit he adopts us as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15).
How do you relate to God? It came up again recently at church how we build assumptions about God based on the image of our worldly fathers. Mythology and folklore have even colored our view of God being anything from Grandfather Time to Santa Clause.
Every night my husband and I read bedtime stories to our little girl. We settle down on the sofa with a blanket big enough to cover our laps and open The Chronicles of Narnia. While this may be a vast epic for a five-year-old to grasp, she has no problem forming a picture in her mind of great Aslan the lion. The parallel between the lion and the Lamb of God is not lost on her.
Down at the water’s edge we stand together watching the mist cover the marina as fog reflects the golden hue of dawn across the lake.
“What is this?” she gasps, reaching fingers to touch the wonder. A bit of frost remains on the dock and she stoops down to marvel before it melts in the morning sunlight. She is always asking the right questions.
This is how we can approach God like a child. Always wondering, and seeking, and longing to know better and to be known.
“The wonder of God is that moment of spiritual awakening that makes us curious to know God more.”