We all seem to have an ideal person or character that gives us the meaning to the word and person 'father.' For some it comes from the actual man who raised us, others it is a grandfather or uncle and then others might only be able to look to television or books to find the meaning. Each of these are based on a human and all humans have some type of flaw that irritates or angers us and this stands true of any of these men that define fatherhood for us.
From any of these men we can almost for certain agree that fatherhood is not easy. There are pains and joys as with any relationship, and all too often those pains and mistakes are what define the relationship. With our own thoughts and emotions of a physical dad is there truly any wonder why many of us have issues with calling the God of Heaven, Father? We can all too easily put the pain from these human men who represent being a father onto God and cause the same pain and anger with Him.
While I know the pain and anger of not liking a dad, mine was ever present in my life. Many of the things that caused this were things within me that led to the drinking to cover up these emotions. I never learned to deal with them, I just buried them deep inside and let them be to fester and build up even more anger. To look at God as my Father pushed me away from Him, because I did not want any other person adding to my pain and misery. This was not logical, but this is the truth of where I was at the beginning of my drinking career and the beginning of me loosing my religion.
Through the years, in recovery, I have learned to let go of the unjustifiable anger towards my dad, to forgive him for what I considered mistakes. Now I can look at him as a human and not someone who should be perfect. It doesn't mater what actions were at this point because it is in the past and there is no good in hanging on to what is going to jeopardise my sobriety and serenity. Yet, with the letting go and attempting to move forward there is still great difficulty in look at God as my father.
The other day Psalm 23 was being looked at and the phrase about God restoring the soul hit me hard. When I limit who God is in my life how can there be true restoration? To not let God be who He says He is and wants to be then I am still trying to control what is beyond my control. God wants to be my Father. When Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray He addressed God as "Our Father." He could have told us to address God as God, Lord, Jehovah, or something else, but Jesus said "Our Father." Jesus included us in His ability to call God in Heaven, Father. This is a very intimate thing, it is welcoming us into a family and with family comes love.
Therefore, when I do not let God be my Heavenly Father, I am limiting who He is. I am not letting Him be in control and do not put all reliance in Him. I am rejecting the peace that David wrote that God gave Him in resting beside the still waters and restoring the soul. I put my reliance in something else even when I may not know what that may be. I put my trust in something of this world and not in His word. I limit the way and the time that I am with Him, so I feel alone. In all these things I put Him less in control and when He is not in control He cannot restore me. He cannot provide all the serenity that I need to know that things will be okay one way or another.
To rely on God, to trust in God, to be with God as a Father is hard; yet, if I cannot do these things I will not find the need peace to let my soul be restored. To be refreshed to face the world of sin and know that I am not alone and be able to survive is what I need and is what He can provide. But if I cannot see Him as that Father to bring protection I can never truly be at peace, and that is very unfortunate.
When the times were just right, I remember being able to let Dad be in control and rely on him and trust him to the point that I felt save and secure and that all would be just fine. I may not have understood how that was going to happen or when it was going to happen, but that was okay because I knew Dad would take care of it. There may have been instruction or correction, but that did not matter because I was safe. This is the type of feeling I think about when David wrote of the Lord restoring his soul. If I have done it with my earthly father, I should be able to do it with my Heavenly Father who is perfect and loving in all ways.