When I was a little girl, we had a rope tied to a huge maple tree that we used to swing on like Tarzan. One day, my brother discovered that he could get a much higher arc if he climbed to the top of the swing set and jumped off. When I tried the same thing, the rope broke, and I fell flat on my chest, knocking the wind out of me. I literally thought I was dying, and all I could do with my last remaining breath was pant out, “Go........get........Daddy!” I could do absolutely nothing about it myself, but as Daddy held me in his arms, the pressure on my chest eased, and I could breathe again.
That's the relationship God wants us to have with him. It doesn't matter if your hurt is something you did to yourself, or whether you are filthy with dirt you got all over yourself. It doesn't matter if you should have known better or if you have failed in this same way a dozen times before. He is our Heavenly Father, our Abba, our DADDY. He wants us to run to him and trust him to take care of it.
Whatever it is, don't hide it from him. Don't try to clean it up yourself; that only smears it around. Just say, “Lord, here is my anger. . .my frustration. . .my pain. . .my sin. I trust you to wash me clean.” And, he will, in his own time, in his own way. You may not even notice him doing it, until one day, a situation that always made you angry just.. . won't. A pain that made you cry will hurt less.
It's not a “do it once and you're done” thing, though. You need to go to him again and again, even if it's a hundred times a day. And, as he gradually cleans you, you'll notice old wounds that never healed right. Show him those, too.
Maybe it's not sin that weighs on you. Maybe it's grief. Or fear. Maybe it's the relationship with your mother or your spouse or your child. Your heavenly Father wants to hear about it, wants to fix it for you. Take it to him, and let him deal with it. He likely won't fix it instantly; that's not usually his way. But, he WILL deal with it, in his own time and probably in a manner that never occurred to you.
We are God's beloved children, little toddlers in his eyes. We are just learning to walk, learning to talk and serve and help. If your toddler fell down, would you punish him? Of course not. You'd pick him up, give him a hug and say, “Try again.” If he yells that he hates you or slaps his sister or doesn't do as he's told, do you stop loving him? Never! You know he's just learning. You patiently discipline him again.
And, if he hurts himself doing something he shouldn't do, do you want him to try to stitch up his own cut? No, you want him to come to you and say, “I did what you told me not to, and I hurt myself.” You want him to trust you and love you enough to come to you and tell you the truth.
We are toddlers in God's eyes, and that's OK. We don't have to have it all figured out. All God wants is for us to love him. Can you picture a little toddler running to his father, throwing his arms around his knees and yelling, “I love you, Daddy!” That's what God wants from us.
Is it the toddler's job to put food on the table or cloth the family? No. We are toddlers, and it's God's job to provide the food, the clothes, the house. He lets us help, but he is the one who is responsible.
Don't be afraid to show him the cuts and scratches you get as you run through life. And, if you haven't, and those wounds you inflicted on yourself are now infected and oozing, don't hide them under your Sunday clothes. Take them to your Abba, and show him. “Lord, I hurt myself, and I need help.” Trust him to heal you.
And, if the world's bullies have knocked you down, let your Abba deal with it. Be like the trusting child telling your daddy about the boy who stole your red truck. It's alright to be upset, but it's not alright to try and smash the other boy over the head. Instead, let your Abba go and get the truck back. In the process, he might even heal the naughty boy who hurt you.
In the days ahead, if things make no sense – if the economy gets worse, or terrorists attack or earthquakes destroy, it is trusting God as your Father, your Abba, that will see you through. He loves us as his little toddlers. He will take care of us and provide for us, because that's what fathers do.
This article was inspired by a beautiful forum post by someone named “Final Call.” In some places, I used his exact words, because I couldn't think of a way to say it any better.