Every time I pray the Our Father I can't help but remind myself that these words were first spoken from the lips of Jesus. Is there a more perfect prayer? The image of God as a loving Father is a great comfort to me but I know for others it is difficult to embrace that image.
The other day I was talking to a friend and she shared that she had a very dysfunctional relationship with her dad. As a result, she had a difficult time viewing God as a loving Father because to her fatherhood equated pain, not love. In some way or other, we all have issues or emotional baggage that we have to deal with in order to completely surrender ourselves to God.
Do you see yourself as the precious child of God the Father? Do you see yourself as a beloved daughter of the King? As the sister of Christ?
Sometimes we do. Sometimes all we hear is the evil one whispering his lies: You are unlovable. You are ugly. You are incapable. You aren't good enough. God could never truly forgive your sins. You can never truly change your old ways. And the list goes on and on.
Don't believe the lies!
You are God's precious daughter.
You are wonderfully made.
You are beautiful in your uniqueness.
You are strong and able to do all things in Christ who strengthen you.
I'll admit that sometimes it's hard to accept and truly believe that. We are not the first to have a difficult time changing the way we think and act. In the First Reading, there is considerable division amongst the early Christians. Some were maintaining that one needed to keep the old Jewish laws in order to obtain salvation. Saint Paul vehemently insisted that the old ways had passed, and salvation was for everyone, regardless of their background. It was difficult for many of the Jews to wrap their head around the fact that they had to change their way of thinking. Their previous understanding of salvation had been turned upside down. Christ's death and resurrection brought forth a new life in the Church. A new understanding of God's love and mercy and his desire for each and every one of us to be saved.
In the same way, we need to embrace a new way of thinking about ourselves. We need to let go to the old negative lies that run through our head when we are feeling defeated. We need to understand that like a father holding the hand of His little girl, God knows when to let us walk on our own and when to pick us up and hold us close.
When we surrender ourselves and truly believe this, then we can more fully live out the words of the Lord's Prayer. We lift our hands in praise of God and accept his divine will. We trust that He will provide our needs. We ask for His forgiveness and are given the grace to forgive. We rely on Him to help us live a life worthy of a precious daughter of God.
Bobbi Rol is a wife and blogging mama to a teen daughter, three rambunctious little boys and two babies in heaven. You can learn more about her here.