01 November 2012

Thanksgiving Challenge, Day 1

 I feel like I'm jumping on the bandwagon by doing a "30 Days of Thankfulness" theme in November. I could try to defend myself by claiming that I had the idea before everyone and her mother was doing it on Facebook, or I could just admit that it's not a bad wagon to be on and join the band, so to speak!

I was going to pick 30 random (but mostly meaningful) things that I'm thankful for, but a friend and fellow blogger issued the challenge to choose a specific theme, such as a person or situation, and be more purposeful about finding things you're thankful for--to dig a little deeper. You can read her post here. So I decided to focus on the Lord and his character. I feel like I can name some basic attributes of God that I'm thankful for, but I think that it might be a challenge for me to think of 30 things. And that's just sad because he is an amazing God, and I should not get "stuck" when I'm trying to describe his character! I think this month I'd like to get to know him a little better by describing who he is.

So here we go!

Day #1: I'm thankful that God is King and Father.

In the Bible study I've been going to at church, Read the Bible for Life, we talked last week about how the central message of Jesus' teaching was "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17). We dug into what it means to be a part of this radical new Kingdom. And I started thinking that I don't really think of God as my king. I like to think of God as my Father. That's a special relationship that I have with him where I can go to him with all my fears and needs and joys and concerns. But I often don't realize that he's not just any father; he's my father, the King. He has power and rules over all.

In the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), Jesus taught his disciples to address God as "Father," but then he told them to pray "Your kingdom come." He emphasized both the Father and King aspects of our relationship with God.

It reminded me of the movie Anna and the King. In the movie, the king, who has many, many wives and dozens and dozens of children, has a favorite little daughter, Fa Ying. There's a scene where the king is holding court and all his subjects are prostrate on the ground before him as he makes decrees. In the midst of this, Fa Ying comes running through the hall and straight to her father. He stops everything as she whispers her request in his ear, and then he quickly goes to her aid, leaving all his subjects behind.

I kind of think that's how it is with God. He is all powerful and rules over all, yet he has made us his children, not his slaves. He listens to our whispered request and works powerfully on our behalf. What a comfort to have such a royal, powerful, loving, gentle Father King!

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