James 1:17 : “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
God gave himself, and continues to give of himself- he is the perfect and good gift, and all he has to offer us from his hand is good and perfect. All authority and power to turn from evil and untruth, and walk the way he intended, are available to us (2 Corith.10:7-8,1 Peter 1:3- and following; all of 1 John). All the characteristics of Himself are ours to be (Rom. 12:6-8, 1 Corinth.1:4-9, 3:16, Gal. 5:22). He humbled himself to becoming like us, so we could be like him, and he continues to humble himself and dwell with us, getting close to all that is wrong in this world by Holy Spirit-ing with us. Long suffering is our perfect Father. Sometimes I’ve gotten tired of looking at him as a Father, when there were all these other attributes *I thought* were getting missed.
The salvation that God offers, I’ve been able to understand most deeply as I’ve wandered and settled in the spot of actually looking at what good parenting is (at least what we know of good parenting- thanks Boundaries with Kids by Cloud and Townsend). As I’ve risked talking to God as I would have talked/ have wanted to talk to my mom and dad. I now know I can just be repetitive in what I bring to him, that he is long -suffering! Last night I just cried, wanting God to come. “Can’t you just bring all your children to you? Send everyone dreams! Give them clear appetite for you! We are doing such a poor job.” Can you imagine this Righteous Being, who demands that evil not be in his presence, longing for and calling for his people, as we continue in hating him and rebelling, and acting out in horrendous ways to each other? My brain doesn’t fathom it.
Our perfect parent knows when to step in and when to allow consequence. And we, as 4 yo, still slightly ego- centric ones, rail and can’t look past the next 2 steps, can’t hold the bigger picture. God is patient to speak just the next thing…to just remind us of his promises and truth about his character… “I will guide you. I will hold you. You can trust me.” Watching a 3 yo yesterday gave me this good picture, that He knows the end:
“Mom and Dad always come home.” This specific little one keeps this in mind through all of his play. I gave him the schedule countless times as I held up my fingers- we (1)play, (2) snack, (3) play more, (4) lunch, then (5) mom and dad come home. At one point he didn’t want to play and didn’t want lunch, thinking if he said no to these steps, the last step would come sooner.
We have to do all the steps. I can’t remember all the steps. I might not know all the steps. But I can lean into and learn about my God, I have the capacity to find him and hold onto the horns of the altar, pleading for our life (1 Kings 1:50), pleading the judge(Luke 18:1-8), waiting for whatever blessing he will give.