“Then God said, let us make man in our image, according to Our likeness;…and God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)
No doubt this chapter will be the most humbling to write. But, hopefully, it will also be the most powerful. In Chapter seven of a book written by Jack Frost I found some timeless answers. Seven is completion, appropriately enough. As usual, I could have easily missed it..leaving me to wonder how many times over the course of my life I missed His messages. I bet you understand that feeling well? I have been in a Christian men’s group for a couple of years now. We have gone through books such as “Slavery to Son-ship” by Jack frost and another good book we traversed recently was “Classic Christianity” by Bob George. But, it was the start of chapter 7 in “Experiencing Father’s Embrace” by Jack Frost that got me over the proverbial hump. I will explain but allow me to go back maybe a year or so as God began setting the stage.
I was in Birmingham, Alabama at our Patria Ministries family gathering. I had named my little retreat center Patria House because I was a part of this larger ministry out of Birmingham under Michael French. At this meeting Michael was sharing how one of his spiritual fathers, Bob Jones, had taught him to operate in the Spirit. We were all simply waiting quietly before the Lord asking Him to speak something very significant to each of us personally. People were seeing and hearing incredible words of encouragement and/or purpose. I was having a vision of a stork carrying a baby. I prayed and asked but I never got full understanding. So, I never spoke up but did share privately with Michael later in case he had insight. He was not able to share anything I had not already wondered about and the true meaning just never materialized.
week I came and surrendered myself and my agendas. I subjected myself to the total milieu of the group, including this guy who I saw as too dominate during ministry time. I guess as long as you say “Thus says the Lord” first you never have to shut up. I mean who is going to tell God He talks too much? Eventually, that man left our group and my soul returned to its rest. And then we got to chapter seven. I never would have gotten to chapter seven had I not pressed through.
Remember the vision of the stork carrying the baby I saw while at the Patria Ministries family gathering in Birmingham? This is how chapter seven begins, “Out of all the creatures in the animal kingdom, storks are some of the most loving and tender. Mother storks watch over and carefully nurture their babies, and adult storks care for one another and meet each other’s needs throughout life. Even when a stork becomes older and has difficulty keeping up with the others, another may fly along side the elderly stork and allow it to rest its wings on theirs. These storks are constantly touching, nurturing, and protecting one another. It is no wonder that the Greeks used the word “storge” to describe family love. It is storge love that speaks of nurture, empathy, affection, and tenderness. Among humans, just as it is in the animal kingdom, mothers are the primary caregivers and dispensers of storge love in the childs first two years of life. The father’s primary years of influence are the 3rd through 5th years, but the mother is the one who carries the baby in her womb imparting warmth, security and trust. She then births the child, draws him to her breast, tenderly cares for him, and nurtures him. One of the connotations of the word “nurture” is “to cause something to come forth.” The mother’s storge love imparts faith in the child to trust bonding, to receive love, and to express love. In the very nature of God, there is a mother’s heart, the storge love that nurtures and comforts us in tenderness and compassion. This has been present since the beginning of time, even in the creation of the world.” So, we see God’s nature encompasses both masculinity and femininity and I assure you He is quite capable of this nurturing storge love…because God IS love! He went back and healed my deep need to be nurtured. That’s the humbling part of this story I felt compelled to share.
I will end this chapter with a dream I had years ago. I was at what was, at the time, my father’s house. The black storm clouds were being blown away as white clouds and sunshine moved in. I heard an audible voice from heaven above me, “look for me and you will see me.” As I looked at the top terrace of the front yard from the front porch, the white clouds came down and formed a throne. Then the white clouds formed One seated on the throne. He was wearing a long white robe…As I watched, the sun came down out of the sky and attached itself as the head of the One seated on the throne, very bright and fiery…As I continued to watch, His arms came off the arm rest of the throne and He reached for me…I left the front porch of that house my dad had left to me when he died. I ran up the terraces to jump in my heavenly father’s lap because He was reaching for me. The first time I recorded this dream my daughter, Courtney Blythe, was a little girl. She walked in my office as I typed. I stopped and picked her up in my lap and read to her this dream. I had to reach for her and she had to climb in my lap. It’s all about the relationship and “Experiencing Father’s Embrace” as Jack Frost said. Storge love indeed…