Sometimes pilgrimage is a search and a wandering toward a Father’s love.
God used the last verse of the Old Testament of the Bible to express the importance of relationship in family via the prophet Malachi:
It’s not what we usually think of when (if?) we consider what’s at the heart of God’s intention toward us.
But there it is: relationship. Connection. Value for the people God has put in our lives.
Francis Chan / "My Cup Overflows":
God has called himself our Father. And in many ways, the relationship we have with our parents—maybe especially our fathers—will impact how we see God.
So a relationship that’s destructive … where the father belittles his kids or mistreats them, or children who treat their parents with contempt—we bring that into our relationship with God.
And if we approach our family relationships that way, it distorts the picture of what God has intended toward us. That father’s love that gives sacrificially. Protects. Goes all the way, regardless of the cost.
Nails through hands & feet. Whip-scarred. Speaking the truth in love. Leading from the front. Caring for others all the way to the end. Bearing a punishment he didn’t earn so we wouldn’t have to.
That’s how God showed his love for us. That’s what a father’s love looks like in his eyes.
It’s a high bar.
It’s also a very grace-filled model of how to walk on earth—knowing that he loved us with all he had, before we could earn it (and even if we never did).
We don’t love or give to earn his love. We love and give because we have received his Father’s love …