My dad calls me darling. His dad called me darling.  When I walk into my parent’s house, he always says, “Hi, Darling.” When we experience God as our Father, we experience Him intimately. We experience what it is like to be known and to be loved, to be cared for and about. What if we approached our God with the expectation that He would greet us with, “Hi, Darling,” and as we poured our hearts out to Him, His response would be, “I know.”

As a father looks with loving eyes upon his child, so our God looks with kind eyes upon us. He is patiently desiring us to glance up at Him so He can lovingly connect with our gaze. Just as the eyes of a father search the whole crowd to find his child, so our God searches and looks for us. He longs for us to look to Him in our pain, joy, and everything in between.

When we experience God as our Father, we will come to know the ultimate acceptance that says, “Come home. I love you no matter what you do.”  As a father opens his arms to his child, so our God always desires for us to come back with eyes that are for us, no matter what we have said or done. God, our Father, wants the greatest good for us as we live out our story.

When we experience God as our Father, we experience His patience and His love and His full acceptance as only a child can know. As a loving father watches their child ride their bike and topple over, when we fall our God reaches down, dusts us off and says, “Let’s give this another go,” revealing His trajectory pointing you forward once again. Over and over the journey forever is one with His love and encouragement, forever acceptance of who you are, knowing that He already knows, whether you tell Him or not. Our God is the Forever Father we can always run back to and the Forever Father who you may feel watches from afar, yet is always closer than He may feel.

God calls Himself Father; it’s not on accident. God calls Himself Father because He allows us to know Him in a way that is gentle, yet strong; caring, yet desiring us to rise up to who we can be in Him; wanting nothing from us, but everything for us…that we would look to Him when we need help and when our hearts are heavy, so He can gently guide us as a loving father would…that when we experience our greatest joys, we would look to Him and see the glimmer in His eye saying, “Yes, my child, that’s the way.” And that we would live every day in His care, that He could feed and clothe us in His kindness, that we would depend on Him and live dependent on His great, great love.

Just as a child living their best life reflects glory on their earthly father. With glory as the goal, as when we live connected to our Heavenly Father we reflect His glory, and that is what turns our story into the full story.