I was teaching a course at Ellel Grange the other weekend and shortly before the course began I went into the meeting room and found a bird trapped inside, desperately trying to find its way out.
It seemed such a metaphor for so much of the Christian church. We long to fly in the freedom of the Holy Spirit, but feel trapped and unable to find release. If we were truly able to be living the abundant life that Jesus won for us on the cross, wouldn`t the world be looking at us and saying, “I want what they`ve got?”
There are so many reasons why we find it hard to ‘fly’. Some are trapped by unforgiveness, some by a sense of failure, and some by a faulty understanding of the love of the Father. During the course, many of these issues were dealt with. Many had never heard their fathers say that they loved them. If we have a difficult relationship with our own fathers that can often transfer itself to our relationship with God – after all, God in His wisdom planned that our fathers should model His love to us. Our fathers show us the strong, protective side of God’s nature and our mothers the tender nurturing side. So both together give us, or should, a complete picture of God’s love for us. But has any one of us had perfect parents? They too may have come from difficult backgrounds and struggle to express their feelings.
Forgiving our parents for their lack of love, or just not being able to express that love, is a key to being released from the rejection that implants deep in our spirits. And when we’ve been rejected it’s often followed by self-rejection. So learning, and believing, the truth about the love that Father God has for every single one of us, is a vital step towards our freedom. After all, knowing that we’re loved makes us feel truly special.
Prayer: Father God, I know in my head that You love me, please help that knowledge to drop into my heart, and please show me if I need to forgive my own parents (again), so that I might be set free from rejection and self-rejection. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
P.S. If there are any fathers reading this, I`d encourage you to make a point of telling your children how much you love them!
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