I Couldn’t Call God ‘Father’

But there was a great challenge awaiting me. I had to accept God as my Father. In my mind, “Father” was not a word of honor toward the God I had come to know. “Mother” would have felt like a much better word. But God wanted to reveal himself to me. And he did so with complete patience and gentleness. As I studied the Bible, I saw the grace and love of the Father. As I prayed, I felt the attention of the Father. As I worshiped, I felt the embrace of the Father.

 

In Islam there are 99 names for Allah. Not one of them is “Father.”

I am from a family of six children. My father never showed us love. Whenever I heard of people speak about the love and support of their fathers, I had no idea what they meant.

My father was an angry man. He abused us, especially my mother, emotionally and physically. She was beaten several times to within an inch of her life. Yet she put up with this in order to protect us children.

I also remember the day when my father tried to kill my brother, forcing him to run away barefooted into the street.

When I was old enough, l left Iran so that I could be free of my father and have a better life. I ended up in the UK.

I always had a negative view of men. I questioned why God had given men such power. I tried to be strong, yet I was depressed and tired of life.

One day, alone in my room, I spoke for the first time to the God of creation. I had given up on my religion, which had always made me feel weak and afraid.

I prayed to the God I did not know, yet whose presence I sensed in a real way. I wanted to die, but I didn’t want to commit suicide, as it would bring shame on my mother. So I asked God to kill me. But he didn’t kill me.

He gave me life. Let me tell you how.

FINDING JOY

A week later, I met with an Iranian lady. When I started to share my heart with her, she told me that she had no religion—but that her daughter had become a Christian and had changed. She asked if I wanted to go to her daughter’s church. The work of God is amazing: he used a nonbeliever to witness to me.

So I went to the church for the first time, and it was strange. The people had names like Mohammad and Zahra, which are Muslim names. I didn’t know that Muslims could become Christians.

And the men there were different. It seemed they didn’t have unclean eyes.

They were worshiping with joy, in my mother tongue, Persian. I had always wondered why I must speak to God in Arabic, a language I didn’t know. Why didn’t he accept my mother tongue?

At the end of the sermon, the preacher called everyone to trust Jesus the King.

From that day onward, I had a new faith and a new joy.

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