I had a hard time talking to my dad when I was younger. I have always been a people-pleaser and a feeler and I was always afraid of disappointing my dad or afraid of his reaction. My dad was a good dad, but he wasn’t usually pretty blunt about how he really felt about things and sometimes came across kind of grumpy. I was often afraid to open up to him emotionally.
So, I always found it easier to talk to my stepmom about things and rely on her to talk to my dad for me for the more challenging conversations. She was a good middle-man between us. One time, she confronted me about this and told me that it made my dad sad that I didn’t come to him myself with these things.
The other day I was thinking about this and I realized that I have done this with my Heavenly Father as well. It can be very easy to read books written by other people, or blog posts, or sermons online or in church and feel like we’ve had communion with the Lord because we feel inspired or we learned something new. And those things aren’t inherently bad at all, but it becomes a problem if we are only “going to God” through these other people. In Ephesians 2, Paul teaches us that in Christ Jesus we have access to the Father. We can talk to Him any time we want, about anything, and he gave us His Holy Spirit to guide us. While supplementary teaching can be good, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the best teachers and we have access to them at all times! The only way your favorite writer or speaker learned the things they share is by having that time with the Lord themselves — and we can have that too, but we have to actually talk with God ourselves and let him into our hearts, and minds, and lives.
Now that my dad has passed away, I regret those times I didn’t choose to communicate with him personally. I missed out on conversations and moments and time with him because I chose to go to him through someone else. I don’t want to miss out on what my Heavenly Father has specifically for me simply because I’m relying on learning about Him through someone else’s relationship. We already have someone who went to the Father for us, and his name is Jesus.
(I think it is important to note that God is LOVE and He is perfect, he will never react to us or our feelings the way that our earthly fathers may. We can always feel safe to tell Him everything we are feeling and experiencing — He is not surprised by it and He is more than capable to handle it!)