Dad. The word probably means something different to each of us. Recently, I’ve encountered many who have no attachment to that word whatsoever. “Dad” means nothing to them because simply, well, they’ve never had one. Now, obviously there was a sperm donor and from a biological perspective they have a dad. But from a nurturing, relational, and emotional attachment perspective, they feel fatherless.
I really believe that’s why Jesus spent his time on earth trying to help us understand what God is like and who he is. Many times throughout the Bible God is referred to as a dad, and that’s a good thing, but Jesus took it a step further. It’s one thing to say “You care for us like a dad” or “You are our dad,” but to say “Good morning, Dad” takes on a whole new meaning. Jesus wasn’t just describing what God is like, but Jesus also was telling us to relate to God as our dad!
If you want to dig in a little deeper, many scholars teach that when Jesus taught us how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13, and say “Our Father, who is in heaven…” that he was using the word “Abba” – the first word that a young child learns in the Middle East – “Daddy.” Think about what this implies. Even those who have had the best example of an earthly dad have been misunderstood and discouraged because of them. Your Dad in heaven knows you better than anyone else and he is the real Dad to those who have never had one. Not only are you very valuable to him, but he also knows what things you are in need of before you even ask!
Can you imagine the love your heavenly Dad has for you? If God delighted in his plan before he spoke the world into being, how much greater is his delight to witness the full fruition of his labor – a believing son or daughter. That’s why he longs for us to see him as he really is: our Dad. Once we make that connection our entire approach to our Creator should shift – which I believe was Jesus’ intention all along.