I used to think abiding meant living perfectly. Like you weren’t welcome at the table unless you cleaned yourself up enough.
Now I see abiding differently: I picture myself as being an easily-distracted little kid running around doing this and that and all of a sudden realizing that I can’t see my Dad anymore. I can’t find Him. I panic. Previously those feelings used to lie to me and tell me I was unwanted. Now with a better understanding of His character, I am learning that abiding is simply crying out to Him for help. For comfort. For direction.
He is bigger; just because I can’t see Him, just because I took my eyes off Him, doesn’t mean He ever took His eyes off me. Now abiding is easier.
When you decide to have children, do you expect they are going to be perfect? When they act up or out are you shocked and offended to the point of disowning them?
Well, even so, He says in Isaiah, “Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.”
Look at the heart of mother or father who will wait years and years, decades, without a shred of hope, in earnest anticipation of their prodigal’s return. Or the parent who will forgive over and over again, the worst betrayals, and come alongside to offer whatever is in their power with a completely unselfish heart that simply wants their child to be restored and free. Where does that love come from? We are created in His image.
We don’t question the decision of adults, who even in their brokenness, want children who will cost them a lot of personal sacrifice for many many years. How much greater the love and patience of The Father for His kids, His Creation?
If you are feeling alone, ask even now for Him to help you see Him. Even if just out of curiosity more than belief. Personal experience will speak to you more than a million blogs or books ever could. Your frame of reference may not be able to believe in the existence of the God your heart hopes for. That’s ok. He can handle all of you. Ask the hard questions. I challenge you.