(8) . . . the Father. ..

If I believe in my Father I must behave like a child of the Father. I must be childlike in the best sense, but not childish. I must recognize how dependent I am upon my Father and trust him to arrange things to provide for my needs. I may not know what my Father does in his office, but he knows what he is doing and it is good. I may forget him in the rush of many things, but he will not forget me. He may be very busy, but he always has time for me and a special place for me in his heart and plans. When I suffer, he suffers. My problems are his problems. I am his problem —his problem child. He has so much to teach me, and he leads me to wisdom by the experiences through which I come. Nothing ever merely happens to me. My Father has his eye on everything. He knows what is going on and why. Whatever men may do, this world is not going to careen and smash its way to utter disaster until my Father is finished with it. My Father is at the wheel, so I can sleep at night. I know my Father will not go to sleep.

Because I believe in my Father I feel a responsibility for maintaining the dignity of his name, our family’s name. I must never, never let him down! He expects me to be at my best for his name’s sake. Think of all he has done for me: He gave me my life and everything that I have; he took me into his family and called me his. If I should be cold toward him, or cruel toward his creatures, I would bring deep disgrace on his heart of love. If I should be ungrateful, negligent, unfaithful, a fake, or a liar, what would this do to him? Another cross? If I am truly his son, people ought to be able to see in me some family resemblance. If I should take his name on me in vain, this would be the ultimate profanity.

I believe that God will always be my Father. Even if I dishonor him, he will not cut me off forever. When I come back to my senses and remember whose son I am, he’ll be ready for me with open arms. That kind of love can be neither defeated nor forgotten. I wonder why he would love the likes of me? I haven’t anything to give him that he didn’t first give to me except, possibly, my love for him. But maybe he gave me that too. The love with which his only begotten Son always loved him still loves him through me. Why does he love me? Just because he is Love. He is the Father.