Saturday, March 2, 2013

Father Brother Partner Friend

It dawned on me this week that God presents himself to me in different ways during different stages along my Crooked Path journey.  He does this to all of us and the Word he gave us points it out over and over again.  I could write for days on all the ways we experience God, but my thoughts for this post have settled on four: God as Father, Brother, Partner and Friend.  Here goes nothing ...

God as Father is the easy one.  Most of us have been taught this concept from the time we could be handed crayons and sit at a Sunday School table.  The Father is the one up ahead on the path.  He is the one who is our leader and guide.  He calls to us, beckoning from somewhere down the way and urges us to follow where he goes.  He may be far enough ahead that we don't see him, but we know he is there and we want to believe he is true to his word.

God as my Brother is, essentially, an offshoot of him being my Father.  If I believe in the Trinity, I call Jesus the Son of God.  My Bible tells me that I am also a son of God so, by direct relationship, I have a Divine Older Brother who quite literally loved me and the Father enough to die for me.  My Brother has walked the same Path as I walk and comes to me directly offering encouragement.  He has a unique connection to our Father and shares his heart with me as we journey.

Matthew also recorded Jesus saying he would be our Partner.  This comes with the exhortation to "take my yoke" which is a partnership if ever I've seen one.  Draft horses who will work as a team are often raised together from foals so they can develop an innate sense of each other and be more effective partners.  Sharing the load with Jesus as my Partner is an awesome way to travel the Path and it reminds me that I am never alone.

On the night before he died, Jesus told his closest men that he wasn't going to call them servants anymore.  Instead, he was renaming them as his Friends.  Now, having the Father, Brother, and Partner are great ... but having God call me his Friend?  WOW!!  That is an incredible opportunity.  Friends know each other better than anyone else.  Friends laugh and run and play together.  Friends are comfortable just hanging out because they know in their hearts that the relationship they have is worth more than anything else.

This Lenten season, my story reminds me that God is my Father, Brother, Partner and Friend.  If that isn't a great way to dive into The Story, I don't know what is.

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