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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Need of a Father

by Sue Sainsbury

Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7, NIV

We’re currently having a season of unexpected hassles and expenses: a lost key that will be costly to replace; a car check-up which reveals that lots of work is necessary to keep us moving; an accident involving a large amount of water and a laptop! They’re not things of eternal significance, nothing life-threatening, or things that make our world stop. But these, along with many other small insignificances that are expensive irritants, cause hassle and inconvenience that interfere with us doing the things that we prize in life.

This morning, though, rather than stressing and making calls to professionals and researching solutions on the internet, I wandered with the dog on this beautiful spring day and pondered the longing I feel for someone to sort it all out and make it all better. As I did, I recognised the impulse to want someone, older, wiser, more able, with resources and expertise, to make it all go away. Beneath the presenting hassle, deeper than the irritation, as I brought it all before God, I realised that it’s the desire for a Father.

I realise that some of us might not have had the best experience of an earthly dad, but it made me think of myself when I was a little girl. Whenever the small worries of childhood disturbed me, I wanted my daddy to ‘make it better’. It seemed like he always could. Whatever cares I had, he would be able to soothe my troubled heart and resolve all the practical things.

He’d listen and love, and then take the necessary steps; invisible to my little-girl heart who would go to bed feeling better, not knowing of the conversations he would then have with whomever needed to be spoken to in order to resolve my struggles: a teacher, a friend’s mother, a person selling puppies …! Whomever it was, he would make it alright. Later on, he would clean my shoes, pay the bills, fix my car before it even broke down … so that it didn’t break down.

Now, I realise, even in my middle-aged years, that something deep stirs when the minutiae of life overwhelm me. It’s the desire for a Daddy to step in and uncomplicate it all. It’s a longing for someone to deal with all the many ‘moving parts’ that are too complex, or too random, or too out of my control. It’s a desire for Father God.

So, I ask myself, what does that look like today? It won’t necessarily mean that all the problems of life melt away. It certainly won’t mean that I’m untouched by sorrow, or that bad things won’t ever happen to me. But it does mean that I can lean into Him for all the complicated practicalities, and all the emotional difficulties, that come my way. I can bring my concerns to Him, and know that He understands better, and sees further, and loves me more than I can even imagine. I really can give Him all my troubles, because He really does love and care for me.

Sue Sainsbury and her husband, John, have just begun a big, new adventure as part of the leadership team at Ellel Grange, where they are committed to living lives as disciples of Jesus and helping others on their journey with Him.


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