From the Desk of … Abba Father (Father, dear Father)
by Pam Strickland, Lt. Colonel
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family—calling him “Father, dear Father.” For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we will share his treasures—for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:14-17, Life Recovery Bible).
Recently, Ron and I took a trip to Australia to be with our daughter, who had just been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Thus began our journey into the unknown. Will she get the best medical care? What are the hospitals like? Are their medical treatments the same as in America? We wanted to just bundle her up and bring her home. I can’t begin to explain all the thoughts that were running through my head. With many doctor’s appointments and various tests, the decision was made as to the treatment for this fearful disease: a total of 12 treatments every two weeks.
This is when I claimed the 26th verse of the above chapter: We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. The Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. Wow! There have been so many of you who have been praying for our daughter, Kimberly. She has expressed many times how she has felt the release of that power of prayer in her life, especially during the actual chemo treatments. How can that power not be released when so many of God’s saints are praying? Does Scripture not remind us in Hebrews 1:14 that angels are ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? Angels are God’s messengers, spiritual beings created by God and under his authority. They protect the helpless (Matthew 18:10), proclaim God’s messages (Revelation 14:6-12) and execute God’s judgment (Acts 12:1-23; Revelation 20:1-3). The power of prayer in Kimberly’s case is overwhelming.
While I was in Australia, Kimberly received a note from the Carmelite Nuns, located in Varroville, New South Wales. Made aware of Kimberly from a letter they received, they enrolled her in the Association of Prayer of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Ask me sometime, I would be more than willing to share this particular journey in more detail.
Needless to say, there have been times in my life (like now) when I want the answers to situations to be logical and within my comprehension. I recently found that when I deal with spiritual issues, that is not always the case. Simple explanations may not be available, and not everything is in black and white. We don’t necessarily get the opportunity like the doubting disciple Thomas, who was allowed to see the nail marks in the hands of Jesus, and to put his hand into his side.
Then again, what we are looking for may be right before our eyes but we are unable to see. We can doubt without having to live a doubting way of life. Doubt encourages rethinking; it helps us to sharpen the mind instead of changing it. It does not have to be a permanent condition. Doubt can pose a question, get an answer and push for a decision and belief. Sometimes the requirement needed to get the answer is a simple act of faith.
I have just recently had this experience—not so much the doubting, but wanting the confirmation that I felt I needed to reinforce what was before my eyes. Thank God that he does not reject the doubting or the confirmation if it is honest and directed toward strengthening my belief. This is when once more I have called out to him, “Father, dear Father, thank you again for speaking to me deep in my heart.”