If I had announced to my children at every meal, “I am your mother—I am patient, understanding, compassionate, forgiving, and longsuffering with you,” they would have found that odd, if not amusing. Why? Because my sons learned how deep my love and commitment to them is by living through various experiences. They saw my care for them when they were stung by life. They had my protection for them when they were scared. They heard my prayers for them when they were sick. They felt my compassion for them when they hurt. Even now, as married men and fathers, they get to know me as a mother-in-law and a grandmother. They see me interact with them and their families in new, uncharted circumstances.
Isn’t this the same way we get to know our heavenly Father? From the beginning of time right up to this moment, He reveals to His children His ever-constant character. He doesn’t just list for us all of His names, nor describe Himself with proclamations of “this is a short list of My nature: El Shaddai, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Tsidkenu, Jehovah Rophi, just to name a few. Now, go learn about all those so you know Who I Am”. No, He engages Himself in our lives. He desires relationship with us. He wants us to know Him as He works in and through our trials and triumphs. He wants us to see Him actually doing for us what He proclaims Himself to be: trustworthy, compassionate, forgiving, real, devoted, joyful. That’s how we really learn His character.
Most definitely, His attributes are wonderfully described in those precious names listed above, and so many more. How much more glorious is it that our Father, the One whose image we are created in, involves Himself in our day-to-day existence, reminding us of how many times and ways He has been there for us in our times of need? The great I AM doesn’t have to make announcements at every turn in our day; instead, He’s always there, leading, guiding, protecting, and loving, just like a really great parent would be. What a God! What a Savior!
Carol Tirondola is on staff with the Partner Care team at America’s Keswick. She and her best friend, Mario, have been married for 35 years. They have 2 sons and 2 daughters-in-law that they call their “BFFs”. They also have 7 precious gems called grandchildren. Her family has savored many memories of the heart made at Keswick over the last 35+ years and she is thrilled to now be serving on staff!