He is King. He is Judge. He is the Creator of everything and the Lord of all.
But sometimes, perhaps much more often than we realize, He simply wants to be our Father.
In John 14, Jesus says that if we’ve seen Him, we’ve seen the Father. He came that our Heavenly Father might be revealed. Why does Jesus emphasize the “Father” over and over and over again?
Picture what a good father looks like in your mind’s eye. Imagine a loving father staring deeply into his baby’s eyes, so overjoyed and delighted to be holding the greatest treasure of his life.
That’s how God sees you. That’s what it means to have a Heavenly Father.
Over the last few months, I’ve been working like crazy to save enough money for my upcoming wedding this August. As my fiance and I were budgeting the expenses, I had this overwhelming desire for my Heavenly Father to give us our honeymoon as a wedding present.
I took particular note of this desire, because I NEVER think this way. If I need more money, I ask God to send more work my way. I don’t even think in terms of free gifts, let alone ask for them. Sure, I’ll fundraise for missions-related trips and things of that nature, but those involve a bigger picture. My honeymoon has no “bigger picture,” or at least, my potentially religious mindset wouldn’t have ascribed it such value.
But I had this desire, and I knew it wasn’t wishful thinking. I had a genuine desire for my Heavenly Father to give me a very tangible gift.
I’ve been learning over the last two years that God is my personal Father, not a symbolic one. He loves me, but He also likes me. He delights in my delight. He loves to take care of me and give me the best.
I decided to ask.
And guess what? You’ll never believe what happened that weekend.
That’s right, I lost 80% of my income… overnight.
Boom. Just like that. Gone.
4 months until my wedding and my primary revenue stream was completely eliminated.
At first, I was a bit shell-shocked. Our budget analysis just days before indicated we would make enough to afford the wedding, but just barely. We definitely couldn’t afford to lose a month or two’s income job hunting.
Fortunately, circumstantial upheaval has a way of refining our focus. I realized I had taken my eyes off Jesus and placed them on wedding preparation. I looked back into His eyes and was reminded that really, nothing else even matters.
It’s His love. It’s His love in the morning. It’s His love at night. It’s His love in the easy seasons. It’s His love in the difficult times. What else is there to live for but His love?
I arrived at school that following Monday at peace, knowing He would make a way. As it turns out, a donor had gifted a substantial sum to the school, and it was being distributed in class that day among students who hadn’t yet paid off their tuition. I had one payment left to be made, and that payment was lowered by $100 thanks to this donor.
$100. Chump change in light of two years worth of tuition. But it was extremely significant. You see, at Bethel, it is very common for students to fundraise the majority, if not all, of their tuition. I know hundreds of students who never paid a dime of their own money. This wasn’t the case for me. I received a single donation toward my tuition from a fellow student before the start of my first year. I had paid every cent on my own since that opening payment. Two years and 20+ payments with no funds received, and the first moment in two years I find myself in a financial pickle, God sends a donation.
It was one of the more obvious signs from God I’ve ever been given. I knew He had my back.
The next week, I was having coffee with a friend, discussing all manner of things, including preparation updates for the wedding. As we transitioned subjects, my friend stopped, looked at me and said, “I feel like you’re supposed to book the honeymoon you want, and God’s going to pay for it.”
I hadn’t mentioned a word about my request for that very thing. He just sensed prophetically that this is what God was doing and by speaking it out, confirmed what I had already been sensing.
Exactly one week later, while driving back from a tutoring session with troubled teens (hosted by BSSM), one of my team members handed me an enveloped and simply said, “For the wedding.” Upon opening it, I discovered a check for $1,500 allotted towards “wedding and honeymoon!”
I was ecstatic, as you can imagine. $1,500 was enough to cover our housing costs for a week in Hawaii. God had answered my prayer!
As I prepared for my upcoming trip to Zimbabwe, I knew that God was opening doors, and I believed new revenue streams would open up when I returned. While on the trip, I was hired on as a staff writer for WiseBread.com, a position I still fill today. It was the start of a freelance portfolio that has been growing every week since.
But it get’s better.
When I returned home from Zimbabwe, I had one text waiting for me on my phone. Can we just take a moment of silence to contemplate my lack of popularity. Two weeks. One text.
But seriously, one text – from our premarital counselors – informing my fiance and I that friends of theirs would like to offer us their Hawaii guest apartment for our honeymoon… free.
WHAT!? I thought God had already answered my prayer. But this… this was abundance. $1,500 + FREE beach house accommodation. He was really doing it. He was giving me the gift my heart desired.
As I begun looking into flight costs, I realized tickets would cost most of the $1,500. I hadn’t expected such steep airfare, but I was grateful we had the cash to afford it. I went to purchase the tickets, but there was zero peace in my spirit.
I felt a voice in my spirit say, “If you’ll wait on me, I’ll take care of your flights too.”
I couldn’t handle it. That would just be greedy. We had already been given so much. Expecting God to cover the flights too was just more than I could ask. How would that even happen? Plus, flights aren’t exactly something you want to procrastinate on, especially for a honeymoon.
But try as I might, I simply couldn’t order the tickets. My spirit would not allow it, and after a lifetime following the peace, it’s not something I can just override. Two weeks later, I tried to purchase tickets again… no peace. It was stressing me out a little, but I knew we still had time, so I didn’t worry too much about it.
One Sunday, a few weeks later, I received a text from my dad. It seems his business partner has connections within Delta and had decided to secure us some Buddy Passes for our wedding present. Long story short, our flights were “paid off.” We had free tickets to Hawaii!
Is anyone else as shocked as me? To summarize, I noticed an unusual desire in my heart for my Heavenly Father to give me my honeymoon as a wedding present. I asked this of Him and within 3 months, received free flights, free accommodation, and $1,500 to put towards expenses while we are there. Other than a handful of friends, I did not mention my request to anyone. Those involved in this blessing were completely unaware of the role they were playing in a Father-son exchange.
Sometimes He just wants to be Father. Sometimes, He just wants to love you extravagantly.
He’s a good Father. Let Him in.