I was spending a week in a cottage of one of our congregation members. They had offered to let me stay there as I wrote and developed a discipline/discipleship Bible study. The combination of seclusion and the beauty of the surrounding nature was the inspiration I needed to keep at the task. I still find it hard to believe all I accomplished during that week.
Yet I also longed to be home because I missed my wife and three young boys. Since Facetime and Skype were still years from being developed my only contact with them was via phone – for which I had to pay long distance charges!
So I highly valued the few phone conversations, which were largely with my wife. But one time she said one of our sons wanted to speak to me. She gave him the phone. Across the miles, beyond the separation, even when we he couldn’t see me he said, “Daddy, I love you.” Then he gave the phone back. Wow! My heart melted and the tears rolled gently down my cheeks. It took all my energy and focus to remain at my task and not immediately head back home to give him a hug.
Those are, I believe, the four greatest words we can hear: “(your name) I love you.” No matter who we hear them from, they stir our hearts and lift our spirits. I have a hunch you know what I mean. That moment in time reminded me of how important it is to say them to those we love.
Yet it also brought another thought to mind. God likes to hear those four words from us as well. I’m certain Jesus had this in mind when he taught his disciples – and us – how to pray. “Our Father…” (Matthew 6:9) The word Jesus used was Abba, a term of love and intimacy; it was “Daddy’ rather than ‘Father’ or even ‘Dad.’ All that Jesus prays for in this prayer flows from a loving, trusting son to His loving, faithful Daddy. And Jesus said this is how we are to pray. In other words, let God, our Father, our Daddy, know we love Him. Imagine what it means to Him to hear those words – especially in those times when we may feel distant from Him.
How often do you tell Him? When was the last time you simply prayed “Daddy, I love you?” When was the last time you prayed “Daddy, I Love you” and said nothing else, made no requests – just let Him know you loved Him? How often do you sing a love song to Him? John Fischer expressed beautifully when he wrote and sang (1):
“Love Him in the mornin’ when you see the sun a -ris-in, Love Him in the evenin’ ‘cause He took you thru the day. And in the in-be-tween time when you feel the pressure comin’, Remember that He loves you, and He promises to stay.”
Sound, sensible advice. Perhaps it’s time to follow it. Today how will you say/pray/sing “Daddy, I love you?” Go ahead – do it now. And tomorrow – and the next day. Do it often. After all, they are the four greatest words that will melt even the heart of God.
(1) “All Day Song”, John Fischer, © Lexicon Music, Inc. 1973