Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Experiencing our Daddy's Good Gifts

Last week summer actually showed up for two days. The sun began to peek through on Tuesday afternoon and I felt a quiet nudge to look at my schedule to see if there was any possible way that a Mariners/Cubs game could be in my future Wednesday night. (The Cubs aren’t coming back to Seattle for 10 years and they have a sentimental place in my heart because Bill and I’s first date was at a Cubs game.)

Only one huddle one on one conversation Wednesday night, so I called to see if we could reschedule it to a different time. It worked for the following day. Next, I texted Bonnie to see if she was available to go; she was. The game was a go!

Wednesday was one of those summer days that you dream about. Clear blue skies and just the right temperature. That afternoon I felt a nudge to make a deposit that I’d been carrying around for a week. We’d gotten some surprise checks and I got some cash back. When we went to get the tickets, it was a sold out game so we ended up buying from a scalper who only takes cash. I actually had some since I had just gone to the bank.

Bonnie and I found our seats and couldn’t believe where they were located. First section right behind home plate and amazingly no one sat on either side of us. As we sat down and I realized that Cliff Lee, about the best pitcher in baseball was pitching, I could barely contain myself.

It was a perfect night. The weather was beautiful, Bonnie and I had a great time together, and we saw baseball like I have almost never seen before. Cliff Lee pitched all 9 innings and got 9 strike outs. Double plays, home runs and amazing catches continued to happen.

When the Mariners won 8-1, I thought I had died and gone to baseball heaven.

The next morning I woke up with the clear realization that the Lord had given me that night as a gift. He prompted me to check my schedule, nudged me towards the bank in a different part of town I’d never seen before, directed us to awesome seats and fulfilled my heart desire for an amazing baseball game between two of my favorite teams.

And, I sensed that he did it just because he loves me.

He wanted to give me a good gift, just like a loving daddy would with his kids. The best part is as I told this story to people I was able to encourage them to look for those good gifts from our Daddy too.

Some of you may be saying, “God didn’t make that happen. You did.” But, I find it so interesting that we are so willing to say, “Why did God let this happen?” when something bad happens, but are hesitant to give him credit when a blessing takes place.

I think we need to change our minds about this. As we begin to anticipate and look for good gifts from our Daddy, I think that we will see and experience more of them. The Scriptures tell us that “God did not withhold anything from us, including his son.” If he gave us his son, he is more than happy to please us in an area of our pleasure and passion.

So, here’s the invitation: get to know our Heavenly Father as Daddy.

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray to Abba in the Lord’s Prayer—he was calling them to call God, whom the Israelites wouldn’t even say his name because it was too holy, Daddy! Allow him to love you like a little child so that we can all grow up into healthy adults.

This is our challenge: to come to our Daddy like a child, letting him form a new foundation for our lives.

The new foundation includes several bricks which include an experiential knowledge of being loved generously, perfectly and completely by our Heavenly Daddy.

Read Luke 15 about the Compassionate Father. An editor named that story the Prodigal Son, but this is a misnomer. Jesus told that story to show us the depth of love, compassion and forgiveness from the Compassionate Father, not to highlight the sins of the sons.

I want to know and experience the love of that Daddy who stood on his porch night after night looking for his beloved son to come home. I want you to know it too.

Consider Psalm 37:4: Take delight in the Lord and he will fulfill the desires of your heart.

Take a moment to pray about what simple thing would delight your heart and give you a story similar to mine that you could share with those around you as we discover anew the awesome love of our Heavenly Daddy.

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