#684: Quality Time
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Reflections by the Pond
December 1, 2014
"And I will be a father to you,
And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,"
Says the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 6:18
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There can be many regrets between father and son, and one of mine is that it took me so long to really get to know my dad. One of the great ironies of temporal life is that a child passes through the obligatory stages of arrogance and rebellion when growing up, thus distancing himself from those best equipped to help him mature. Were we to come prepackaged from the womb with the reason and maturity of our adult years, we could then put them to use in those critical formative years, and be the better for it. But no, we are destined to stumble forth, being persistently stupid, learning slowly, learning more from our mistakes than through our infrequent successes.
Some of my best memories of my dad (who went home to the Lord in 1979 at the too-young age of 62) are from our few times together during his final years. Linda and I would travel from California, Mom and Dad would travel from Iowa, and we would meet to camp together at some midpoint, such as Colorado or Wyoming. There we would see the sights, take pictures of the mountains, eat Dad's pancakes for breakfast, and play games inside the canvas-topped camper when the rain poured down.
It was only then, as adult son and adult father, that we could talk about important things: feelings, past joys and yesterday's regrets, life experience and memories of growing up. It was only then that I could truly commune with him—oh, not as an equal, but at least as someone old enough to understand. Only then could we walk side by side, eye to eye, with him sharing the lessons of life that every father hopes to share with his sons. Only then was I ready to receive what he had to give.
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For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!"
God the Father, too, likes to spend time with His children, to have them commune with Him—certainly not as equals, but as those old enough to understand. Just as He did in those early days in the Garden. In those days, God revealed Himself to man, enjoying—in the days before The Fall—a more intimate communion with all of His creation.
God the Father welcomes us into His garden to spend quality time with Him. He wants to be our Father. He wants us to walk with Him in His garden, to bring Him our sorrows and joys, our anger and questions. And, as a loving dad who can now speak openly with an adult son or daughter, He eagerly takes the opportunity to share from His own life, and the immense wealth of His wisdom.
But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.
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Now, in Christ, all believing souls are objects of God's delight.
A. W. Tozer