I am studying a book by Louis Giglio ( Not Forsaken ) The book covers helping a person grow in their relationship with God ( Heavenly Father).
This post covers the first chapter thoughts and observations plus some personal thoughts about my earthly father that surfaced while reading this chapter. I will use these notes for later when we study.
Louis covers examples of how we have a deep desire for our fathers approval, not everyone growing up had a father or father figure and if a person did, it might not be the most positive.
My dad was “there”. He was at my games, allowed me to be a kid, he was an encourager in his own way while my mom was providing that “mom type love reassuring me it would be ok”.
My memories described by Louis are generally positive and helped me shape the person I am today. There were times I didn’t agree with my dad yet as experience and growing older, my dad was right even though at the time my pride would say otherwise. My dad was the typical “man” of his era. He was a self starter. He started and owned multiple businesses, involved in the community, enjoyed outdoors ( hunting deer and at my uncles in Wyoming).
My dad was mechanically inclined, there wasn’t much he couldn’t do from my perspective. One of his self professed weakness was his lack of formal education. He always encouraged me to go to college to help in my life. He would say “ I am a worker, do what is necessary to get it done”
Now that I am an adult. I appreciate my parents for their love and encouragement when looking back. I hope my grown kids have similar positive experiences about their childhood.
As I was reading through the first chapter, many examples came to mind, which was refreshing and brought back good memories. As of this writing, my dad has been gone for about three years. It seems like yesterday he was still there and providing advice.
One of the frequent items I was reminded while reading chapter one. Up until my early 30s, I would frequently seek a “final approval” from my parents when making big decisions in my life at the time. I don’t think that urge to seek your parents input ever goes away. As I have gotten older, their wisdom is more appreciated.
As I continue my walk with the Lord. I seek his advice through prayer and studying of his word. So much of what I failed in my earlier life. I went about the journey by myself without seeking advice from my parents or involving God. That might seem “odd” yet God has been a blessing as I involve him in the most basic and trivial times of my daily life. He wants to be involved.
Here a few highlights I pulled from the book:
God the father wants you to:
“And He wants you to live fearless and free. He always stands poised and ready to take a step toward you. You just need do it”
Psalm 27:10 is referenced:
“Even if my mother and father leave me, the Lord will take me in.”
Psalms 27:10 ERV
When a person grows up without a father figure or has a bad experience regardless of the situation. Gods word clearly describes our Heavenly Father will not leave us nor abandon us in any situation.
I found in Matthew and Mark covers when Jesus was dying on the cross and says “father why have you forsaken me” Matthew 27:45-46 and Mark 15:33-41. Luke and John don’t cover these specific words but accounts are at Luke 23:44-49 and John 19:28-30.
I had a feeling of deep dispair when reading the scripture references. At that moment in eternal time. Jesus was sin and to re-establish the connection between his creation and himself, that was a necessary step for the father although it grieved him greatly.
It also allowed Jesus to relate to everyone . He knows every sin and daily struggle. When Jesus “knows” what we are going through. It was that defining moment where our sins were nailed to the cross.
Even in our own depravity, God the father loves us and won’t forsake and abandon us ever. This observation is my own discernment and how I interpreted the passages.
As part of this study, I would encourage each person to read the four accounts in the gospels the moment Jesus was dying on the cross. It was humbling and appreciative of Jesus sacrifice.
In conclusion, Louis did a good job in setting up the chapter. I liked his statement:
“after a small and uneasy moment while you begin to loosen your grip on whatever you’re using to cope with the absence of your father’s blessing, you’ll take that tiny jump, and you’ll find your heart laughing in the arms of a Father who is offering you the best blessing you could ever know.”
This sums up when taking a leap of faith, you might not be sure at first and speaking from recent experience, I can attest this is true.
One final example that happened the same week I started studying this book:
“Do you complain?
…if you do, your friends don’t like to hear it…your enemies love it….James Schofield ( my fathers words) from the 1980s”
“I have a friend I get to meet each week and deliver a care package of food through City Church Greenville (MI) food ministry.
When I pulled into the driveway on the day I normally deliver, my friends spouse was home. He is normally working a part time job. I sensed a need to pray or seek wisdom from him.
We chatted, prayed as normal and about the time I was ready to leave, he commented…there is one thing that “your dad” told me years ago that has stuck with me….then he shared the phrase above…
I was instantly choking up knowing these words of wisdom are from my earthly father, who is no longer with us ( my dad passed in Oct 2017) yet his wisdom is still alive and well…that was extra special…And seems to apply to today’s culture.
Hope this provides perspective today.”
On to chapter 2.