I want bread


There’s this thing that my daughter does a lot and it always, almost works.

I’ll typically get home past 8:00 pm. This is the time that she is supposed to be taking her dinner. When I come in, she will come to where I am sat. She loves to play. She plays a lot. Her games are untitled; she makes them up as she goes. There’s this one that involves climbing up the seat pouffe and then jumping off to where I am without any hint or caution. Her hope is that I’ll catch her or that even if I don’t, she’ll fall into my arms. Sometimes I’ll catch her; sometimes she’ll fall in my arms. Sometimes she will face the opposite direction, make a certain sound that I haven’t found a name for so far and then fall over backwards. She knows that Daddy will catch her. And she’s right I always catch her.

I guess that’s why Jesus said we ought to become like children. They know how to trust.

After this ritual, daughter will pull me up from the couch, her tiny hand firmly grasping my one finger. I’ll stand up of course faking that she has succeeded in pulling me up. She will then lead me to the kitchen. Her finger now lifted up, she will point to where she believes her mother has kept the bread and start saying “Kate! Kate! Kate!” That, ladies and gentlemen, isn’t Katherine’s name shortened but rather the shortened Swahili version of bread.

She will do this because of course her mother has told her that she cannot have bread at night because she needs to have a decent meal. But she doesn’t want the decent meal; she doesn’t care about your meal or its decency. She wants bread and she deems that her father will give her bread. Her mother will be in the kitchen making that decent meal all the while giving us the African-mother-side-eye and sneer. She of course knows how the script to this short story unfolds. I will inevitably concede to my daughter’s demand and give her bread. She, my daughter, will run away, excited that she has finally been given what she wanted.

Her prayer has been answered.

I spoke on prayer one time and told the people that the model of prayer given by Jesus starts with the statement “Our Father who is in heaven…” It is interesting that when Jesus taught his disciples how to pray he didn’t ask them to refer to God as the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, El Shaddai, Jireh or those other grandiose names that we call Him. He simply said that when we approach God we should approach Him as our Father. This never really hit home until I became a father myself. I never actually realised how much power and privilege is hidden in knowing the right of having a father until my daughter subtly taught me this.

I sat one day and realised that when my daughter deals with me she uses none of my other titles. She doesn’t actually care what I am outside the house. Wait, she’s not even old enough to know or even understand what my titles are or what they mean. The only thing she knows me as is her father and she knows that her father can give her everything and anything including bread even against her mother’s wishes. When she comes to me she is confident that what she couldn’t get when I wasn’t there she will get because I am there. She doesn’t have to beg, she doesn’t have to speak coherently, write a proposal or ask for hours on end. She knows that if she tells me what she wants she will have it.

My daughter understands the privilege and power of having a father better than most adult Christians do.

See most of us know God as everything else except Him as a father. When we approach Him we come to him with titles, songs about his splendour and glory, we talk about his power, might and terror but rarely do we ever invoke our privilege as his children. Yet whenever Jesus prayed he never addressed God using any other name except father. Jesus understood that no title is bigger than that one when dealing with God. Do we know that?

I guess the biggest hindrance to understanding this concept is how some of our earthly fathers have modelled fatherhood. Some left us before we even knew them. Some mistreated our mothers. Some couldn’t provide for us. There were abusive fathers; present-absent fathers and dead beat ones. The fathers that we saw, even if they were good, were never perfect-no human is anyway. So we struggle with the idea of God the father because what we know of a father isn’t exactly good. That’s why we look to God’s other attributes: his strength, power, knowledge, wisdom, creative power et cetera.

But regardless of what your earthly father was or is, you have a father in heaven that’s perfect. He has no flaws. Whatever he does is perfect. This is a relationship you have to explore, discover and exploit. You are his child and he loves you. If you didn’t find love, care, protection and providence from your earthly father, your heavenly father will give you all that. He wants you to approach him first as a father, your father. I hope that you’ll learn how to invoke the right of son-ship and tap into the depth and wealth of the resources of not just your God, but you father. I hope that you’ll know that you can come to him, the father, regardless of how you feel, where you’ve been, what you’ve done or what they say. He doesn’t discriminate. He will never overlook you or turn away from you. He is not just a good father; he’s perfect in all his ways.

You’ve known him as everything else, try knowing him as a father. See how that works out.

  1. Woooow!!
    I can attest to this indeed the fatherhood of God is a dimension in Him we need to experience and know.

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