Embraced by the Father
Susanne Scheppmann

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him." 1 John 3:1 (NIV)

Her smile lit up the room when her daddy entered. Her rosebud lips spread into a wide beam of a smile. Her silky black hair leapt about her face as she bounced excitedly on the balls of her feet. She looked like Snow White after a large cup of espresso. The man started the music and began to walk toward her. He stopped and opened wide his muscular arms—the familiar invitation to dance. She raced to him and perched herself atop his feet. They began two-stepping to their special song, "My Personal Penguin." The princess was dancing with her Prince Charming—her daddy.

Bittersweet joy washed over me like a warm spring rain as I witnessed this scene between my son and granddaughter. Happiness for my granddaughter flowed into my heart, but there was also a tinge of sadness. I regretted never having experienced the same type of father-daughter relationship with my earthly dad.

My own father resembled the character of Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind. He was suave, handsome, and self-assured, but a rogue. I traveled through my childhood and adolescence wishing for a Rhett Butler type of man to whisk me off my feet. I desired a rogue to embrace me with a wild and untamed love. Because of my "father image," I actually desired imperfect love from people. A flawed love would hurt, but it still appealed to my broken heart. I believed falsely that love could only be achieved through volatile sparks of emotion, fueled by the uncertainty of the love.

Of course, it was all a misguided representation of a girl's broken heart. But now, I have learned to know a perfect love—the love of my heavenly Father. Only He has been able to fill my heart with a perfect love. The night I accepted His love, He began to reveal to me the character of a faultless Father. As the Father embraced me, my idea of errant love slid into oblivion. I learned the true meaning of love as I gained knowledge of God. He taught me His characteristics and personality through the diversity of His names, but my favorite will always be Father—Abba—my Daddy.

Do you know Abba—the heavenly Father? He is waiting for you with His arms wide open. Come and be embraced by the Father.

Dear Lord, thank You for revealing the true love of a Father to my broken heart. Help me learn to live out my life in Your perfect and holy love. Remind me that You love me just as I am—flaws and all. Thank You for Your love. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Embraced by the Father: Finding Grace in the Name of God by Susanne Scheppmann

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan

Visit Susanne’s blog

Application Steps:
Read Zephaniah 3:17. Write down the activities that sound like a father loving his daughter. Imagine yourself sitting on the Father's lap and allowing Him to sing over you.

Reflections:
What is my mental image of a father? Do I believe that God loves me as a perfect father would?

Why or why not? What hinders me from accepting God's unconditional love?

Power Verses:
1 John 1:2-4, "The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete." (NIV)

Galatians 4:6, "And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, 'Abba, Father.'" (NLT)

© 2010 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.

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10 Comments:

Blogger KARUNIA said...

That's right. We can call Him Our Father because of His everlasting love,pure and true love. He gives us His peace at the right time avoiding the bad situation and He know well us. Hmmmm....... and I very excited to call Him my Father. It means a great relation and connection.

Great Father we have... all of us in this universe who call by His love.

Thanks ya... :-)

17 "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
Thankful that I (we) can know and have a Father like this, irrespective of the earthly father we have (had). What a great verse and devo to start the day

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear God,

Thank you that you love me just the way I am, but desire to make me better all at the same time. Thank you that I don't have to be perfect to be loved by you. sometimes I get frustrated when the day doesn't start the way I want when something bothers me and I tend to make more of it than it is and I have done that again this morning I am realizing that it is more than just about time with you, but about time alone. Help me to get this schedule right. Help me to be the best mom and wife I can. I am falling short and I can feel it, but I can't seem to correct it the way that I need to. I ask for your prescence in my life today.
amen

OpenID auburnchick said...

Wow! I just envisioned the teenagers I work with at school. So many seek love from those of the opposite sex, not realizing that this "love" is superficial. They seek approval from their peers, not realizing that they have an unconditional love from Someone who loves them to the core and not for what they are wearing or who they are friends with.

Oh I so relate to your words today! I too didn't have the father/daughter relationship and had a large void in my heart. The Lord has filled that void with teaching me the healthy way to need love because He is the ultimate in giving it to me. I still tear up when watching a program where an earthly father embraces his daughter etc.. sometimes but I know that my Heavenly Father is all of those things and more.

Lee Ann

Blogger mrspurds said...

I think this concept of God as "Father" is one that most women NEED to learn. I was fortunate in growing up with an earthly father that showed me a wonderful picture of the Heavenly Father. But oh my heart aches for the women I see that never had that. It is so much harder to grasp that love when you don't have the connection here on earth. Parents!! You are the picture of God to your children...(makes me shudder... especially after this morning of frustrations with my children.) But God IS able and WANTS to use us. Thank goodness for forgiveness. And if you never had that love here on earth - go to God. He will never leave you, nor forsake you and He does love you in all the ways you need.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is something I needed today ad the second time today hes showed me I don't have to deal with hurt alone. When a daughter gets hurt her father picks her up, carries her, bandages her wounds, kisses her boo-boo, and lets her know that its ok... shes taken care of

Anonymous Ashley said...

Wonderful devotion. I am so thankful for the love of my Abba Father!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eternally grateful to know the love of my Father in heaven. Thanks for this great devo.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry this might not be the appropriate place to put my comment or observation, but I want to highlight my desire for Proverbs 31 Ministry to begin a new chapter for Widowhood and Grieving for those wonderful Christiam women who have lost their loved ones, unless of course this Ministry is for those who are still married and have their husbands. I think Proverbs 31 can do a sterling job judging by the articles I have read since I subscribed to it. There are gifted women in this Ministry whom i think can write and speak on widowhood and grieving.

Thank you for reading.

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