When You Ache To Be Held

I haven’t written much lately because I’ve been so tired. (We’re expecting another little person the middle of August.) When the kids sleep, I sleep. And I’m very thankful for nap time but it doesn’t leave me much room for being creative.

But, my mind hasn’t stopped pondering, of course. It’s always going, especially in the quiet hours of the night. (Maybe this is another reason why I’m so tired.)  When the house is hushed and it’s just me and my thoughts with my God, I lay awake for a couple hours, thinking and praying about lots and lots of things. It’s funny how you don’t know all the things your heart is carrying around till it’s plumb silent and you’re laying still.

The other night, I lay awake wishing God would hold me. Do you ever wish that? That the God of the universe, the One who gave us breath, the One who named the stars and sits as King over the whole wide world and even the stuff we can’t see, do you ever wish He would hold you? I can’t imagine being anywhere more safe. And sometimes I wish for just a few minutes, we could crawl right up into His lap and know that all is well. Like a little one with their daddy. I cry when I think of it–it’s the deepest ache.

And as I was telling all this to God, He spoke into my heart a couple things. Firstly, He reminded me that He’s approachable like that. He says He’s like a mama hen that gathers her chicks up under her wings, to tuck them in all close up against her warm, soft breast. (Luke 13:34)  God is as fierce as a King lion, but He’s got a heart like a nurturing mama, so He welcomes us in. Sometimes I just imagine myself all tucked into Him, head on His lap. We were made to be held. No wonder we never grow out of that longing.

And I think God wants to hold us often. But, there is a way that He holds the world. He holds us through the people He’s put in it. I turned over to gaze at Brent, fast asleep on his pillow over there. How many times has God held me through him?  Brent’s arms reaching out and pulling me in, his fingers stringing through my hair. And how many times have I scooped up my kids and cradled them close, smooching their little cheeks. This is how we feel God here, all of us with this deep down ache for His embrace.We must never stop reaching out with the purest hearts, of course. Sometimes we just really need to feel God kissing our cheeks. 

As Brent lay resting, I thought about how much he wants to live his life well. He just wants to know if what he’s doing is any good and if he’s doing it right and if anyone is even pleased. I prayed that he would feel his Maker’s approval. Then I saw the way God loved him–how He leaned His face into Brent’s and held the back of his head with His hand and like a proud Daddy, just said it right into him, “My son, I love you. I really, really love you. You’re my boy and you’re doing great. You’re my son, and I am well pleased.”

And later when Brent woke up, I told him about it and I affirmed him, too. Because when we speak up and into each other’s empty, aching places, this is how they feel the pleasure of God. So, we must  never stop saying out loud, words that help and build up and heal. This is how God loves the world. Through the people He’s put in it.

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