Mountain View - Abba Father By Paula Friedrichsen

Writer Author  Church On The Mountain
Christian Column : Christian Living  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer Recently I was at a local ice cream shop where a noisy drama was being played out between a mom, dad, and two adorable little red-headed girls. One of the girls was sitting quietly at a picnic bench with her mommy, happily licking her cone—while the other was squirming, crying, and screaming in her father’s arms. She was having a tantrum and doing it justice, for sure! And as I walked by smiling sympathetically at the parents, something brand new occurred to me; sometimes the sign of a good parent is a screaming, angry child. I mean, just think about it… that little red-headed spitfire was having a fit because her dad had denied her something she wanted. While her sister enjoyed a delicious ice cream cone on a hot summer day, she had nothing but her tears and anger. Whatever had transpired at the ice cream counter before I arrived had necessitated that her father deny her a much-anticipated and much-longed for ice cream cone. But good parents are not afraid to discipline their children as needed. And no amount of bullying, screaming, or outrageous behavior on the part of their little darlings will cause them to alter their course—because they have their child’s greater good in sight.

Does this remind you of anybody? God perhaps? In Scripture the Lord is occasionally referred to as “Abba Father”. For example in Romans 8:15 we read: “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’”

The word “Abba” means daddy or papa. It is an Aramaic term of endearment and cherished familiarity. If you are a child of God then you too are His beloved son or daughter. And because of this “sonship” you now have access to an intimate, close, and treasured relationship with Him. So close that you can call him Daddy and allow Him unlimited, trusted access into your life. That access means that He may discipline you from time to time—but this is just a normal and acceptable part of “sonship”.

I’ve often been comforted by the following Scripture:

Hebrews 12:7-11 “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

The other day I had a conversation with a young woman from our church about God’s recent discipline in her life. She told me that she had gotten a $500.00 speeding ticket a couple of months ago while racing from Bible college to her part-time job. She complained to me that she thought it unfair that the Lord would allow her to get a ticket, when all those other knuckleheads on the highway were going way faster than she was, while talking on their cell phones! She said, “Here I am trying not to be late for work after being at Jesus school (her words, not mine) all day, only to get a ticket!”

I pointed out to her that the Lord actually allowed her to get the ticket BECAUSE he loves her. Because she is His daughter, He didn’t want to pass up such a prime opportunity to teach and discipline her. Even though she was sorely disappointed that the Lord didn’t protect her from the consequences of her behavior, she eventually submitted to the Lord’s correction in her life. And just as that Scripture above promises, it produced a harvest of righteous behavior in her life. In fact, after I told her about my own experience 10 years back with a Mammoth Lakes highway patrol officer (who couldn’t be cajoled out of giving me a speeding ticket, even though I smiled sweetly while assuring him that I almost never drive that fast), we both agreed that neither of us speed any more. Why? Because we submitted to God’s discipline in our lives and learned the lesson that speeding can be expensive (not to mention dangerous and illegal).

God’s discipline is not a bad thing. It’s life, and hope, and joy, and comfort! It’s peace and righteousness for those who will be trained by it! The Lord’s loving correction is the highest compliment you could receive… it means He’s treating you as His beloved son and daughter. Even if you act just like that adorable red-headed four year old—screaming, crying, and flailing—God will calmly hold you until you decide to yield…..because He loves you.

Editor's Comment: Paula Friedrichsen is a member of Church on the Mountain, a vibrant community of believers in Crowley Lake. We meet at 9:30 Sunday mornings. Call for more information: 935-4272 or

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Country: United States
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