Home Menu

Developing the Father’s Heart

Did you ever wonder who had the more difficult thirty-three years as Christ walked the earth, the Father or the Son? I did. I used to think: I am grateful that God gave His Son to die for me… but I’d much rather be the Father who gave the Son than to be the Son who suffered and died.

I thought: Jesus is the One who had the tough task. He lived thirty-three long years in an earthsuit, subjecting Himself to the very things and people He’d created. He had no toothbrush, deodorant, air-conditioning, ice nor frozen foods. He walked on rocky ground wearing only rough handmade sandals in both hot and cold weather, often with wet, cold feet. All of this to take upon His person the sinful acts of man, let alone to actually become sinful man (2 Corinthians 5:21), knowing that by so doing His Dad would turn His back on Him in His deepest, darkest hour of need! What love! But, there is more.

Since Jesus did nothing in His own strength (John 14:10), depending solely upon the Father, He knew that He would never raise Himself from the dead, but must trust the Father to do it for Him. Thus He had to deal with the thoughts: What if My Father were to change His mind about restoring Me after I become the object of His wrath and rejection? I will never be able to escape from hell. What an awesome risk! What a sacrifice He made. What magnificent faith to place that much trust in His Dad’s integrity! I’m ashamed to confess that as this drama unfolded, I viewed the Father as simply sitting on His throne, sort of taking it easy for thirty-three years till Jesus returned. I believed that the Father had much the easier role. I’d rather have been the Father than the Son. How about you? Which role would you choose?

I believe age may impact your response to my question. If you’re older and have passed a number of the required courses in the University of Earth you probably said that both the Father and the Son had equally traumatic roles. But, I’d like to suggest that the Father may have had the more difficult role. Let’s talk about that.

Most of you know that Anabel and I have parented four sons. But perhaps you are not aware that all four have imperfect earthsuits. Of course Mason, our number two, was the worst, having Hurler’s Syndrome which dictated that he’d reach the pinnacle of his learning curve at age three or four, then decline till his earthsuit died. Having vacated it when he was twelve, he has been healed for twenty years. It’s fun to speculate about what he’s like. We frequently send love messages to him through God, but we never hear back from him (grin).

Then there are Pres, Will and Wade. Among them we’ve had so many major surgeries that we’ve literally lost count. Wade has only portions of each kidney, neither of which could sustain life were he to lose one. Pres has suffered with chronic back pain for years and lives with pain more often than not. And then there’s Will.

Recently, Anabel and I sat in the surgery waiting room for yet one more time. Will had undergone four major leg surgeries and had come home for still another. We prayed for it to be successful but the result wasn’t good news. So Will ultimately returned to his job as an editor in NYC on crutches. You can just imagine how thrilled I am that it is my son who hurts while I continue walk on two healthy knees.

Oh, dear God, if only there were some way that I could trade places with my sons. If only I could be the one to bear the pain. Oh, God, do You know how badly I hurt? Isn’t there something You can do? And the answer remains, Trust Me. So I do. And I try to show them how very much I love them. And I speak to them about God’s faithfulness and His love for them. And I talk with them about earth not being a Disneyland, but a finishing school. I pray for them diligently, trusting the Father to guard their hearts against the enemy’s false accusations against God so as to embitter them. And I walk with my Dad and I hurt…

And He began to show me, " I know exactly how you feel, Bill. You are getting an understanding of what I experienced for thirty-three years when My first Son took on the form of a human. And I continue to live with pain while all of My other sons suffer. I am not oblivious to the pain which you and your sons experience. I cry along with you and Anabel and with them. Do you have any idea how it hurts Me to see your sons going through what they’ve suffered, and how I weep with you and Anabel as go through these experiences?

"You are learning the Father’s heart. You are experiencing the deep heartache of being unable to intervene as you watch those you love more than your own life go through their courses in the University of Earth. Standing… and loving… and waiting is all a part of learning the Father’s heart…”

"My son, tear-dimmed vision is a vital part of the University as you move toward graduation. You are being trained to reign with Jesus as His beloved bride. Painful experiences will enable you to reign with compassion, empathy, and agape in the future. Your Bridegroom was made perfect through suffering (Hebrews 5:8-9). Similarly, all who would be conformed to His image must experience suffering in one form or another on earth. Without this you would be ill equipped for reigning in My future social order.

"Bill, I am not kicked back in My lazboy (to borrow a phrase from earth). I cried out in agony over Jesus as He suffered and died. Like you, I longed to trade places with My Son, but I could not. What made it worse is that I had asked Him to volunteer to be the sacrificial Lamb in order to satisfy My holy standard! I beat my breast in agony day after day wishing there were some way that I could cut short those thirty-three years, but that was impossible if We were to accomplish agape for man. So I waited…and cried…and longed for it to be over, setting My mind that it was all for agape. And when Jesus died, My rending of the temple veil was symbolic of two things: 1) He had opened the way for man to be restored to Me and, 2) My rending My shirt in agony over the death of My beloved Son.

"Bill, while I weep over the pain which My children experience, I am committed to agapeing you all by completing the good work which I began in you as I promised (Philippians 1:6). Son, I love you with a passion which you can’t begin to comprehend. You grasp but a small portion of the intensity of My commitment to you and your family’s best good. I am right there with you as you cry over your sons. Lean on Me. I totally identify with how you feel. Unlike you, I could trade places with My hurting children, but you can see that would be short of agape. So I must wait… and I cry… and, like you, I long for it all to be over. Trust Me. It’s going to be okay. And you’re going to love the results."

Who had the more difficult role during the thirty-three years that God visited the planet in an earthsuit…the Father or the Son?

About the Author

Bill founded Lifetime Guarantee Ministries to encourage people to experience the reality of Christ as life. His transparent, humorous, down-to-earth style and sense of humor made him one of the most effective teachers of his time. He communicated with great clarity the full extent of what God accomplished in Christ and what that means for the Christian identity. Although Bill passed away in June 2011, his messages are timeless and will continue to impact generations to come.