July 2016 Director's Encouragement Letter [Topic: Heavenly Father]

Dear Friend,

With my son recently becoming a teenager, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to his future. I have dreams and visions for him and desire that he have the very best in every area of life. Although I haven’t always been able to provide the best, it hasn’t stopped me from thinking about how I might.

A few days ago I was pondering some possibilities concerning my son when my thoughts were interrupted. "Mike, look how much you love your boy and want the very best for him. You’d do anything for him. Don’t you know, that as your Heavenly Father, I feel the very same way toward you?"

Blindsided and caught off guard, I found it hard to receive this sort of attention. I found it much easier to be the one handing it out.

Unable to hide from His loving gaze, all sorts of junk began to bubble up. I’m not worth this kind of love and attention; I don’t perform well; I don’t have the right kind of personality; I’m an after thought. You name it, I probably thought it. Intellectually I could tell you differently, but face to face with Him, it became a completely different matter.

He interjected, "Mike, if you were attempting to love and do the best for your son, is this how you would want him to respond?"

Well of course not. I would want him to receive everything I have for him with open hands, knowing I love him, and want his best.

He broke in again, "I’m no different. That’s all I want for you."

Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:9-11 were quickly brought to mind. "If any of you were asked by his son for bread would you be likely to give him a stone, or if he asks for a fish would you give him a snake? If you then, for all your evil, quite naturally give good things to your children, how much more likely is it that your Heavenly Father will give good things to those who ask him?" (PHILLIPS)

This simple conversation has effected me profoundly. It’s been a tangible example I’ve been using to better enjoy the relationship I have with my Heavenly Father.

Like, when it’s difficult for me to conceptualize God as my Father. Or to believe that He’s a good Father. I’ve found it easier to first picture my best days as a dad and remember that God’s best days as my dad are exponentially better than mine ever could be.

It’s also been helpful to think about how I would like my son to be when I love and give him my best. Then, by substituting myself for my son and God for me, my perspective and awareness on what it is to be God’s son improve greatly.

How about you? Has an inmate relationship with your Heavenly Father been a hard thing to grasp? Maybe you’ve struggled with feeling like you’re not good enough or that He’s unhappy with you. Nothing could be further from the truth! You’re His child, perfect, loved, and holy.

My hope is this simple conversation will inspire you too. That God will provide tangible ways, unique to you, to truly know Him as your Heavenly Father. And that you, His special child, will find a home in His love.

If there is any way I can encourage you in your relationship with your Heavenly Father, please, don’t hesitate to contact me. Also, there’s a lot going on with ELM these days. Our web site (elmco.org) is a great way to stay up with all the activity. You can sign up for our email list, read blog articles, access our Facebook page, and find information about many upcoming events being held all over the country.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father! (Galatians 1:3, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, Philemon 1:3)
Mike
Mike Roncaglia, Executive Director

Mike Roncaglia is the Executive Director of Exchanged Life Ministries. He has been on staff since 2011 but has been connected with the ministry 25+ years. He is a speaker, teacher, writer, administrator, and counselor. He is happliy married to Jill and they have a son Jonas.