Wednesday, February 27, 2008
In His Arms
the photo is by littlegoldenwoman
The motto of Febraury is "Valentines are people who needs to show love and to be loved" by Deb Ann
In His Arms (It's too good not to pass to everyone and I feel it's worth sharing on my blog)
By Paula Moldenhauer (my dearest friend)
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. (John 16:33 NLT)
The hushed, darkened room surrounded me. People sat on either side, but faded away as I felt Him. At first I wasn’t even sure it was Him, but the comfort that flooded me could only come from one Source.
The shadowy picture lingered. With Spirit eyes I saw myself draped across His strong arms, legs dangling. As He moved forward I rested, head upon His breast and arms wrapped about His neck.
I was close enough to feel His heartbeat.
Weary, I didn’t do anything but let Him carry me. Moving with confident strides, but walking so as not to disturb my rest, we made silent progress. I felt safe and completely taken care of.
The picture of His care stayed with me throughout the coming hours, comforting me as I faced the pain that had bowled me over earlier in the week and the fears that wanted to collect, wrapping themselves about my heart with icy fingers.
As I thought about the picture, I felt peace. While in His arms I knew nothing was required of me except to rest and to trust. I had no desire to wriggle from His arms—no sense that I should DO anything except let Him take care of me.
The picture he gave me resembled something He and I had shared in the past. As I began to grasp God’s unconditional love for me several years ago, I’d often close my eyes and pretend I was climbing onto my Heavenly Father’s lap. He’d hold me like a child and I’d feel safe.
We spent a lot of quiet time together this way and He did a lot of healing in me. It was a still time—a time of coming to know my God and letting Him clean out the things inside of me that He knew hindered our relationship. While there was great inward growth, it wasn’t a time of forward motion.
This new picture of our relationship showed movement. I couldn’t walk, yet the Lord carried me forward. I was completely motionless, but moving, still making progress in life’s journey during this difficult time. I had a sense of destination—and of the Lord’s commitment to my reaching it.
And oh how safe I felt! Though the trail the Lord walked was dark, though his mood was grim and determined, I knew all was okay. We would make it out of that place of shadows. He knew the way through it and was capable of getting me to the other side.
I’m comforted by the fact that dark places on the trail don’t surprise our God. When Jesus walked this earth in human form, He told His disciples to expect hard times. Depending on the version of John 16:33 that you read, He told them they would have troubles, difficulties, tribulations, trials, distress, frustration, distress, and sorrows. (Most of the time I prefer to pretend this dire prediction doesn’t exist, but it’s there in black and white.) God never promised only sunshine. He warned us that in this world there’d be plenty of hardship.
But in this Scripture He goes on to tell us to “take heart” because He has overcome the world. Growing up on the King James Version of the Bible, I can’t hear this Scripture without thinking, “Be of good cheer.” I did a search on those four words and found them interpreted several ways in Scripture.
Most often when Jesus said “Be of good cheer” in the old King James, more modern writers interpreted His words as “Take courage” or “take heart.” But they also were expressed as “Don’t be afraid,” “Be confident, certain, undaunted,” or “have faith.”
I am comforted by this Scripture. It reminds me that no matter what we face, we can be undaunted because our Lord has overcome the tribulation of this world. And like the picture He gave me, He will pick us up and carry us through the bad times. He is not afraid to walk through the darkness with us in His arms. He knows the victory is already His.
Rest in His arms, my friend. You don’t even have to crawl into His lap, because He’s reaching for you when you don’t have the strength to reach for Him. Put your head against his strong shoulder and your arms about His neck. Don’t worry about overstaying your welcome. He’ll put both of your feet on the ground when you’re ready to walk beside him once again.
Until then, snuggle close and listen to His heart beat. It is steady and full of purpose. It doesn’t race in fear or falter in weariness. He has already overcome the pain you’re experiencing. And He intends to take care of you as you move through it.
Be comforted by the gentle rocking of forward motion. He isn’t leaving you in this place of trial, but carrying you through the dark place. You may feel unable to accomplish much during this time, but don’t fear that you are stagnant. He is going somewhere and taking you with Him.
And what a way to travel! Safe in the arms of love.