Rest in His Arms
By Pam Morrison
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ though it is too great to understand fully.” Ephesians 3:18-19 NLT
I have the joy of being a grandmother for the first time. My grandchild is a little over five months, a wonderful age, so small and dependent, yet she is giggly and full of sweet smiles, wanting to explore. Even now, she attempts to “jump” down from grandma’s arms and find out what’s available around her, pushing hard with her tiny legs. But she is still very little, so life is basically a round of bottles, naps, and diaper changes; then we repeat! Twice a week she comes to spend a few hours after lunch with me until her parents come home from work.
I have noticed something as I’ve begun to learn her “signals.” When she starts to get sleepy after her latest bottle, she’ll struggle to let go and rest. She will begin to settle down in my arms and her eyelids will droop, but then she cries out, wrestles in my arms, burrows her face into my chest and spits out her pacifier, fighting the whole process. I put the pacifier back in her mouth, she settles for a moment and then begins to rear up and wriggle and fight relaxing, crying out all the while. This whole process can take several minutes and much grandma arm strength!! But, as she fights relaxing, I don’t find myself impatient with her. On the contrary, my heart is moved with tenderness and I quietly soothe her with my voice and caress her with my hands until she calms down. When finally she allows herself to sleep, my love pours out even more as I see the sweet curves of her tiny face; as her little fingers wrap around one of my large ones. She’s not doing anything to gain this love. I simply love her because I love her.
God spoke to my heart the other day, “Can you see how I feel about you from this picture of yourself with this child? You wrestle and fret and doubt at so many points…struggling in my arms, not believing that I can perfectly hold you and care for you…wondering if my love really does endure forever, but it does. How can you think I would ever give you up? Your love for your grandchild is but a human reflection of my more perfect love for you. Rest in Me. Truly trust Me. Be still and wait on Me.”
Now, perhaps you perfectly trust God at every moment no matter what is going on, but my hunch is that like me and probably all of us, there are times when circumstances are so difficult, you wonder if God can still be there, and if He is, does He care? Or perhaps you feel you have failed Him – your sin is far too great - or you have not done enough to please Him. Maybe in your life, you’ve had so many come and go who you thought you could trust, but they’ve let you down, left you lonely. “How could God be different than others who have abandoned me?” you wonder with sadness. It is natural, in this flesh, to have our moments of fretting rather than resting in God’s arms. But, so much in scripture helps to calm those fears and heal our troubled hearts:
“Jerusalem says, ‘The Lord has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us.’ Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!” Isaiah 49:14-15
“Can anything ever separate us from the love of Christ? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble…No!...I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.” Romans 8:35 & 38
Read the promises in His Word. They are steady. Emotions are not. Rest in His arms and believe that He loves you with a love that is beyond your understanding and without end.
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Rev. Pam Morrison is a pastor and freelance writer who lives in Kansas. She has served five churches, from rural to mega-church. Her husband is a grant-writing consultant and teacher. They have two children, one married, and the other a graduate student in Indiana. Send Rev. Pam Morrison your comments
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