Good Morning Brothers…
My thoughts raced as the glow from my phone faded. The text message from my wife fading away into whatever abyss reserved for electronic communications. I was perched in an oak tree in my native Pennsylvania hunting deer. I haven’t hunted these woods or walked these hills in 29 years. I remembered deer inhabiting these woods at one point, but so far, my curse of empty freezers had followed me east. The temperature was mild, mid-50’s or so, with overcast sky’s and rain showers which moved in an out all week. Bow hunting has a glamorous side to it when viewed from the outside looking in. On the inside, however, bow hunting can be about wet clothes, long hours, and frustration. I often take my Bible into the stand with me to read. The Lord speaks to me through the pages of scripture and helps shape my prayers, my thoughts, and my direction in service of Him. On this particular day, I needed something, I needed to reach…to find…comfort.
My fingers found the book of Galatians. I have read this letter many times but the whispering voice of the Spirit urged me to read it again. I read. As many of you know, my view of God the Father is wrapped in terms like Majesty, King, the Almighty, etc. I struggle with thinking of God the Father in “snuggle cuddle” terms. As I continued reading, I could feel my heart opening as the words of the 4th Chapter began to pour in. When I read the 6th verse, my eyes leaked tears to mix with the rainy conditions which mirrored my countenance, “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
At that moment, in the mist, suspended in a tree, I crawled into my Fathers lap and cried.
I want nothing more than for my kids to be honest with me, to seek me out, to crawl up into my lap and let me help them. I have 4 children. Two of them are under some serious attacks by our adversary. One can be openly hostile and aggressive while the other hides and wears the face of complacency. Satan is doing a masterful job of playing them off of each other. The outbursts of one cause the seclusion of the other. The outbursts of one focus our attention while the seclusion of the other can go unnoticed. This causes her to spiral deeper into a dark place I can’t seem to reach. I feel helpless, I feel angry, I feel…in need.
“Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You”
The melody of this song causes the lyrics to play across my mind as I sit in my Fathers lap. I reach out to my wife through text to tell her to read Galatians. Hours go by, me and God sitting in a treestand…crying…talking…being. My phone lights up with my wife’s revelations. This passage in Chapter 6 hits her hard, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”
Sitting on my Fathers lap I hear my wife’s desperation. We must fight for our children. If we are only sowing fleshly things; counseling, logical directives, removing negative stimulus, etc…then we will only reap corruption. Again, it seems we have been here before, we are moving earth…but we haven’t been moving heaven together. As a couple, a married couple covered in God’s grace, we must find our battle position together and fight for our kids…we must move heaven from our knees.
“Father, I’m in a desperate place
Father, I know You can bear the weight
Father, Take me in Your arms as I speak Your name
I lift my hands and pray
I lift my hands and pray
You know my heart, You know my need
And every single part of me
So even if it’s just to speak Your name
I’m gonna pray
I’m gonna pray”
More song lyrics and melodies play across my mind as I think about the battle ahead. We can’t afford to lose…these are our kids…God’s gift to us…we can’t afford to lose. The abundant life Jesus promises us may seem triumphant and full of glory from the outside. Inside, however, the abundant life can be about wet clothes, long hours, and frustration. The silent cries of our kids, of ourselves, all reach the ears of ABBA…our heavenly Father with the lap reserved for His children. We are His children. He is the Almighty…but He also wants us to be honest with Him, to cry out to Him, to crawl up into His lap and bawl like a baby.