Laying against the Father's chest…

3 06 2012

So the other night during worship I began thinking of a song we were singing. There is a line in the song that says,“I want to…lay back against You and breathe, feel Your heartbeat.” This was in reference to God of course and the desired closeness the writer of the song wanted with Him. I have sung this song before and I absolutely love it. However, as we sang it and I anticipated Spirit meeting spirit, I flashed back to much younger days.

I thought about the nights when I was a small boy and I would get scared or wake up way earlier than my parents. In these situations, I would go get in bed with them much to their reluctance I am sure. Anyway as I sang that line I remembered one of the strange things I did to try to be more like my parents. I would lie beside my dad and listen to and watch his breathing while he slept to match him. I remember taking huge deep breaths and holding them wondering when he would let it out because it was difficult and much too uncomfortable to sleep through. This thought just made me admire him that much more. Eventually I would let out my breath quickly upon seeing his chest deflate to the great relief of my small lungs. I would repeat this process until they woke up or the lack of oxygen put me to sleep again. I did this almost every time I was around my dad while he was sleeping. I was a kid and I wanted to be exactly like my father even when it came to breathing. Oh the lessons we can learn from children.

I started thinking about God and the effort I put into being like Him. As we continued worshipping, I just started confessing and asking for deeper revelation of the Father. I was reminded by this flashback that I wanted to be exactly like my Father. Are we trying to copy His very breathing? He sent us the perfect example for 30 years and some change. We have His Word. How desperately are we seeking His face? His nature? His life? Since then I have not stopped thinking about the desperateness with which I need to seek the Lord and His Kingdom both in prayer and action. I what to breathe like Him, love like Him, see through His eyes, and hear as He hears.

I have since had time to reflect on these thoughts more and two more aspects of those nights and mornings of mimicking my father’s breathing have taken shape in the context of my renewed desire to be more like my heavenly Father. The first of these came from wondering what being more like God would entail. Everyone immediately thinks of the good stuff like love and peace and joy abounding, but what does His Word say on the subject. Now I am by no means getting into the depths of imitating our Lord in this post and I do not want to mislead anyone into thinking it does not include infinite blessings. However, I want to just look at one verse out of Philippians. Paul said that he wanted the righteousness of the Lord so that he could “share in His sufferings, and become like Him in death”(Phil. 3:10). Of course Paul goes on to speak of also attaining the resurrection from the dead, so this is not completely depressing. There are other passages that speak of a desire to live in communion with the Lord and follow His teachings would lead down a road of persecution, uncertainty, pain, and suffering. After all, He was the suffering servant. The question that comes from this is one that must be posed with each decision, each day. Am I prepared for the challenges birthed from an attempt to live in accordance with the Lord? This is a question we must dwell on. Are we as fallen creatures capable of answering yes?

This brings me to my last thought. I learned as a young child that I was incapable of copying my father’s breathing. His lungs were huge! The sad part of that story is that there was nothing that could be done to fix this. The great part of this is that it reminded me why I admired him to begin with. As fallen creatures we are incapable of following the example of righteousness set before us by the Lord. For all have fallen short of their Father’s breathing I guess. Thankfully the Lord sent us the Spirit to guide, comfort, and strengthen us. He gives us the capability of following Him. We can rejoice in this forever and we will I believe. On the other end, we will obviously never be God. The creation cannot be the same as the Creator. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways(Isaiah 55:8). For me this is equally as wonderful as His providing a way to follow Him and return to communion with Him. In remaining separate from me and the rest of His creation He is ever reminding me of why I worship and admire him. If we were able to become like God then what need have we to worship Him. Praise the Lord that He is God and that His creation, us, cannot surpass or match His glory and wisdom. I pray that in light of this we would become even more aware that all we have is a gift from the Creator and that we would praise Him for all the blessings we enjoy daily.

So in closing I just wanted to encourage those patient enough to suffer my writing to reevaluate the passion with which they seek the Father and His Kingdom. I hope that you can come to terms with the cost of following the Lord and maintain that passion to see His face. Finally, I pray all of you will rejoice with me that our Lord is God and we are not. Let us worship Him more appropriately in this light. What’s more is that this God that is infinitely greater than His creation and owes us nothing but death has made a way for us, in all our imperfections, to feel His embrace and return to communion with Him. He gives us the ability to live a life seeking Him that we could never maintain without the power of the Spirit. Praise the Lord, oh my soul. May the Lord keep you all and may blessings abound. Soli Deo gloria.

Because He lives,

Timothy

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