“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” (1 John 3:1)
My mother passed away about 15 years ago, my grandmother 4 years ago and my father last September. Recently, when I reflected on my father’s passing, it suddenly dawned upon me that all the elders in my family were no longer around and I was now the most senior member of the family. I could still remember the various phases of life I had shared with them – the happy, playful childhood, rebellious youth and independent adulthood. Although we become more independent of our parents as we mature, they always remain an anchor and a reminder of the values that we grew up with.
Maybe one can describe my situation as being an “adult orphan”. I am already an independent adult but I still feel a parent-shaped void in my consciousness. As I was reflecting on these thoughts, the Lord revealed to me that He is my Heavenly Father (1 John 3:1-10) and is more than capable of filling the void in my heart.
After that revelation, being a child of God took on a more personal and deeper meaning.
There are some things that I re-learnt on this journey as a child of God with a new found relationship with the Father.
God pursues a love relationship with us
God is the one who takes the initiative to reach out to us. We can be sure because it is written in His Word (1 John 4:7-10,19). The cares of this world, earthly pursuits and even Christian service may distract us from this fact. Sometimes, in the brief moment when we can stop thinking about ourselves and our concerns, when we need Him the most, He lays it out plain and simple – He Loves Us. This is not because of what we have done, but because of who He is. With this assurance, we have all we need to face the world.
He is always near to us
Once we come to comprehend the immense significance of the fact that the Creator God of the whole universe loves us and wants to be in a relationship with us, it drives us to want to continue to be in His presence. We do not need to be in a church, praise and worship session or fellowship meeting to experience His presence. He is always near us and a thought and prayer away as we go about our daily activities and chores. We can learn from Brother Lawrence who wrote The Practice of the Presence of God –
“He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.”
Our Response – Obedience
Lastly, our response to His love is to obey Him (John 14:21) and His commands. To constantly seek His will and ask of Him what He wants us to do with our life.
Let this familiar song be a constant reminder of the loving relationship we have with our Heavenly Father and stir in us a response to His love and heed His call.
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory.
By Tay Yong Thai, Deacon (YCKC Bulletin 26&27 July 2014)