[W]hen we say Our Father—in heaven, we place two things side by side. We place side by side the love of God and the power of God. We tell ourselves that the power of God is always motivated by the love of God, and can never be exercised for anything but our good; we tell ourselves that the love of God is backed by the power of God, and that therefore its purposes can never be ultimately frustrated or defeated … When we pray Our Father in heaven, we must always remember the holiness of God, and we must always remember the power which moves in love …
The boys are home from school again. It’s too cold to venture out. I’ve been catching up on some writing and laundry. Our heat pump is making a strange smell. So I took a flashlight under the house to make sure there was nothing going on. And by “nothing going on,” I mean flames. I didn’t see any. But when I opened the back door with flashlight in hand, the goats in the meadow bleated pitifully at me. I’ve gotten in the habit of throwing Teddy’s apple core out to them every day. So now, when they hear me coming, they edge up against the fence expectantly. Trouble is, one apple core among nine goats doesn’t go very far. So I always try to find something else to give them. They love bananas. And tangerines. Honestly, they’ll eat anything. I’ve seen them nearly climb trees to get to the low-hanging leaves. We think they’re kind of cute. But they don’t smell very good.
Sometimes—when I’m feeding the goats—if I move too suddenly, they will startle and run away. But they always come right back, standing on their hind legs and craning their necks through the fence to gobble fruit from my hands.
Today, as I stood, snow-blind in the back yard with my bowl of tangerines, I thought how like the goats I can be. I bleat expectantly at God, waiting to snatch fruit from His fingers, seeking him only for what he can give to me. I have been guilty of letting my desires distort my image of God.
This morning, in my quiet time reading, William Barclaywrites about the very beginning of the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6:9:
Have I trusted God’s love? I think about the times I’ve greedily gulped up blessings—in fear provision will be fleeting, hoarding away the good. But when I trust that God’s motivation is love for humankind—love for me—I am able to stand with open hands, instead of climbing up the fences of life, craning my neck in desperation.
Trusting in the power which moves in love today. Resting in just that.