Are You Trusting Your Father’s Heart?
I recently heard a true story about a young family that lived in Dallas several years ago. The parents married at an early age and quickly filled their nest with five active children. Although the father worked long hours for the postal service to provide for the needs of his growing family, things were extremely tight in their household.
After wiggling her front tooth with her tongue all day, one of the young daughters lost her first tooth. In eager anticipation, she carefully placed it under her pillow for the Tooth Fairy. The father loved his daughter dearly, so he was distraught. The last thing he wanted was for her to be disappointed in the morning so he frantically searched high and low trying to find a few coins to put under her pillow.
He anxiously pulled all the cushions out of the couch and chairs in their living room and dug under the seats of their car, to scape together 49 cents. Then, at 4:00 in the morning, just before he left for work, he tiptoed softly into her room and cautiously put the prized money under her pillow. Unfortunately, although he didn’t realize it, his daughter woke up and saw him sneaking out of her room.
The next morning, she ran to her mother with tears streaming down her cheeks. She exclaimed that the Tooth Fairy had left money under her pillow but her Daddy had stolen part of it.
When I share this story I’m always surprised at the response of my listeners at this point. Everyone giggles…but I imagine that her father’s response was quite different. Because he was a loving father, I’m sure he was deeply hurt that his daughter could possible believe he would do something so cruel. Even though he cherished her dearly and did all he could to demonstrate his devotion to her, she didn’t fully trust her father’s heart.
My emotions were deeply stirred when I heard about this encounter. It was a distinctively familiar story and I wondered, “How often am I like this little girl?” My life can be going along smoothly when without warning something bad happens and suddenly my world is rocked. When (not if) this happens, I have a choice to make. I can believe that God is sovereign and that He’ll take care of me even if things don’t turn out like I want them to…or I can become anxious and afraid. My peace is instantly shattered when I choose to worry about what may or may not happen. And to be painfully honest, when I become fretful it’s because I’m not fully trusting the heart of my loving Father. There is at least one or more of His divine attributes that I’m doubting.
We were made for intimacy with the living God, but the consequences of the fall are pain, isolation and restlessness. Satan whispers lies in our ears to make us doubt the goodness of our heavenly Father, in the same way he did with Adam and Eve. So how do we draw near to the heart of God so that we can rest in His peace?
To rest in His peace requires putting our faith and trust in Him alone.
Mark Buchanan said it like this:
“And faith is finally this: resting so utterly in the character of God—in the ultimate goodness of God—that you trust Him even when He seems untrustworthy.”
Is there something keeping you from going into the secret place of communion with our Beloved? What are the walls that are blocking you from getting too close to Him? Are you willing to allow the Holy One to tear them down so that the He can fill up the longing of your soul with His peace that surpasses comprehension?
I was unable to experience true rest until I gave God permission to go into the deeper places of my heart. It was only then that He could fill up the gaping holes in my life with His healing presence.
God was well pleased when Moses requested to know Him intimately. In response, the Lord promised,
“My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14 NAS).
How we all long to rest in the Father’s peace. But notice what this verse says. It is the presence of God that brings rest.
I’ve learned that when the Holy One is “with me” and I allow Him to replace the lies of the evil one with the truth, I no longer need to worry. Instead of focusing and fixating on the lies that Satan wants me to believe or the “what if’s” in life, I choose instead to focus and meditate on God’s truth.
I do this by bowing my fears before the Holy One in worship. This gets my eyes off my struggles and on to God’s holiness and amazing attributes. Only then can I experience the rest that God offers. We see this truth in Isaiah 26:3:
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3)
If you’ve been struggling to find peace take a moment to identify the source of your distress and answer this question:
What attribute of God am I doubting in this situation?
Do you feel like He doesn’t care or that He’s not strong enough to handle your problem? The Holy One wants us to bow our anxious thoughts before His throne and allow Him to calm our minds with His unfailing love. In this place of safety, we can fully trust our Father’s heart.