Before I proceeded to hammer out this post, my eyes literally welled up with tears of joy. I shrugged my shoulders, looked heavenward and smiled.
Honestly, I can't fully articulate all I really want to say right now. My mind sojourned back to some of the toughest moments of my life. As unfortunate as two particular events were, it actually gave me a clearer perspective and greater appreciation for hence, the topic of this post: ABBA.
According to BibleStudyTools.com, Abba is a term expressing warm affection and filial confidence. In the Easton's Bible Dictionary, Abba is a Syriac or Chaldee word which is translated "father." However, Abba carries a more endearing, intimate essence in its meaning for father.
My earthly and spiritual fathers are deceased. It's quite bittersweet for me to publish this on the last day of February. My biological father was born February 26th; my spiritual father was born February 27th, and he transitioned on February 12, 2012. Both of those events, unexpected and somewhat expected respectively, literally tilted the axis of my life.
Of all times, my earthly father, Joe L. Taylor, transitioned two weeks before my senior prom. This was supposed to be one of the happiest times of my life! I was salutatorian of my graduating class, recipient of a couple of scholarships, and was Wayne State University bound! Things were going great until Thursday, May 11, 2000. He had a massive heart attack while mowing the lawn. The beauty of it all was that his death was immediate and without pain. God didn't allow him to be diagnosed with some terminal illness that came with taking multiple medical prescriptions. He just slipped away. That was grace; I realized that much later.
The most interesting moment about that day was when he dropped me off at school. Before I got out of the truck, I said, "See you later, Dad." He said, "Ok." I saw him later that day; but, he didn't see me.
Lesson learned: Carpe Diem. Think about it.
My spiritual father was Apostle E. K. Wilson, Sr. For over ten years, I sat under his pastoral leadership and guidance. He was a true man of God who not only loved the Lord, but he loved his wife, his family and God's people. In fact, he and his wife, Mother Elnora Wilson, were two of the first people at my house after my Dad transitioned. When his health failed severely, I made every effort to spend time with him while he was coherent. I remember my last visit with him; he was so detached from me. He smiled at me, called me "Baby girl," and we talked briefly; but, I felt the difference and the void that was slowly developing. He was slowly transitioning out of here. When I left the hospital that evening, that feeling of hopelessness began to take root.
The following Sunday morning, he entered into eternal rest. I sat in the nurses' station, holding the blanket my sister made for him and wept sorely. My "PawPaw" was gone.
It's amazing how when you lose something or someone, other things among you are magnified or intensified. It is said that the remaining working senses of a blind person are heightened because they lack one of them-that being the sense of sight. Their senses of smell, touch, taste and hearing are heightened. Oftentimes, lacking in a certain area actually could work to one's benefit. I googled "blind people's senses" and many links about how heightened their working senses are appeared on the screen. I found this paragraph to be interesting from an article on Livestrong.com:
"Rebecca Atkinson published an essay on July 17, 2007, in the Guardian newspaper about her gradual loss of sight from a condition called Leber's congenital amaurosis. Atkinson states, 'Suddenly you can smell the world and sense when someone is standing out of your line of vision. Your brain grows on the inside, and things on the outside start to matter less...while a blind life is different from a sighted life, it is not lesser.'"
The absence of my earthly and spiritual fathers made me even more aware of His presence. It was like God was the "last man standing," if that makes sense. Lacking in the area of being naturally fatherless heightened my awareness of Abba Father. And because God is so awesome and mindful of us, he gave me a godfather, the Rev. Charles Barden. Rev. Barden, who I affectionately call "my Goddaddy Barden," is literally like my Dad. He is loving, shows genuine care and concern for me, and God uses him mightily with me. Frank and to the point, he often chastens me with the Word of God.
My relationship with my biological father differed from that with my spiritual father; however, I can tie both aspects in with that concerning my relationship with Abba Father.
My relationship with my biological father was not verbally intensive. We talked, but not often. I do not recall ever having a "deep conversation" with my Dad. He was not a "touchy," physically affectionate type of guy, and I was okay with that! I knew that he loved me, my mom and my siblings. He was an awesome provider and we never went without. However, do you know what I enjoyed most about our relationship? His PRESENCE. I found the greatest joy in being his shadow. Just about everywhere he went, I wanted to go. Oftentimes, we would ride in the truck in silence. We would exchange a word here and there. I was comfortable and content with his quiet demeanor. It was simply being in his presence that made me happy. Mull over the word PRESENCE...
My relationship with Apostle Wilson was definitely verbally intensive. I loved talking with Apostle Wilson. I adopted him as my grandfather, and I affectionately called him "PawPaw." I sought wise counsel from him on many occasions. There were times when I used my free time to visit with Apostle and his wife at their home and just talk. I loved their presence and the atmosphere of their home. I was thirsty for wise counsel.
Guess what? That's exactly how Father God, Abba Father, wants us to be! He wants us to find joy and contentment being in His presence. I found joy being in my Daddy's presence, but in God's presence, there is FULLNESS of joy! Abba Father is the totality of my joy! And the joy of the LORD is our strength!! (Nehemiah 8:10) There is nothing like sitting still and having quiet time with the Lord. It's utterly rejuvenating! Psalm 46:10 says, Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Just like we should have quiet time with God and bask in His presence, He wants us to come to Him with our every care and concern. Psalm 55:22 says, Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: I used to run to Apostle with my cares and concerns, why? Because I trusted him and his wise counsel. Although Apostle was very wise, why not run to the Source, first? James 1:5 says, If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. Yes, God gave us leaders; Christ's gift to the Body was the Five-fold Ministry (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers). However, our leaders can not and should not replace or deprive us from having our very own relationship with Father God through His Son, Christ Jesus. Get to know Abba for yourself! He is there waiting for you. Are you willing to run to Father God and share your thoughts and sentiments of your heart with Him? How many just enjoy basking in the presence of God? How many can just abide in the shadow of His wings and rejoice?
Just knowing what God did for me, and you, through His Son...alone warms my heart. It lets me know that I am truly loved. Imagine placing your ONLY CHILD on trial for something he/she didn't do. Imagine allowing them to be put to a horrific, slow, embarrassing death. You can't even begin to TRY to conjure up such image. Why? Because that's your baby! Sometimes parents will hurt just seeing their baby cry, let alone seeing their lives on the line in such manner! Speaking of the crucifixion, even Jesus referred to Father God as Abba, in His moment of passion and weakness.
And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. Mark 14:35-36
And because of the passion of Christ, one of the many awesome things about Abba Father is that through His Son, He lives inside of us! Thank God for the indwelling of His Holy Spirit! God is not just some big, gigantic being that we should respect and be fearful of; He is literally our Daddy! He adopted us as His own, through the Blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father. Romans 8:15
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Galatians 4:6
God is our Daddy, point blank. We can come to Him and ask Him for whatever we desire! He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our provider.
Learn to embrace and love on Father God as ABBA, as "Daddy." You can crawl on his lap and cry out to Him through you heartfelt prayers. Allow the presence of Abba to comfort you daily. Allow Daddy to embrace you with His love, through His powerful Word.
The following is a link to a beautiful song entitled ABBA by Jonathan David Helser.
(image courtesy of Google.com)
With love, I pray you were inspired...
Easton's Bible Dictionary (Abba)
Life Application Study Bible, KJV