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Monday, October 13, 2008

Still, In His Embrace

Where do the years go and why do they have to fly by so quickly? We encourage our children to take their first steps and before you know it they are running so quickly through life that we want to slow them down.

The toddler years brought the battle of restraint. Finding their footing made each child eager to get down and run, independent and free. But there were times when it wasn’t safe. Holding my arms tight, my children often squirmed trying to break free of my hold. A battle ensued testing the strength of my arms.

It was out of protection that I held them back. It wasn’t safe to run, or even walk. They had to be held and carried. After minutes of struggling against my hold, they would finally settle down and nestle into my chest, often falling asleep.

I had an active little boy. He loved being independent and on the run. I loved the moments when I held him close. Those were precious times with memories that I still hold dear. Now sixteen years old, I occasionally have to fight for hugs. Those years of holding my son in my arms, are still my favorite.

Once again a picture spills into my mind revealing more intimately this place of stillness with God. Aren’t many of us like my boy? Could it be that we enjoy life more when we are busy for Him, running free and independent, while He savors the moments of holding us close?

I believe He loves it when I linger in His arms, depending on Him to carry me where I need to go. Why do I fight to break free and run. Why do I fight against His restraint? He pulls me close to cuddle me and tell me how deeply I am loved. Yet, I wrestle to be busy and independent. The thing is, He didn’t create me to be independent of Him. I was made to be carried by Him.

For years I didn’t like stillness. I found it difficult to sit through a meal without moving some body part around. Energy coursed through me as a young child. I wanted to be moving all the time. To this day my husband still laughs when my foot starts to swing.

When God called me into stillness, at first I struggled against it wanting to be free to run. Tenderly he clasped His arms around me and held me tight. “Not yet, dear Jewel, it’s not safe.” “Stay with me a while.” “I have some things I want to tell you.” “Rest dear one, rest.” “I’ve got you.” “When it’s time I will set you free to run, but for now I need you here with me.” Eventually I settled down and nestled into Him.

It’s in the stillness as I cease from my efforts, that I truly hear His heartbeat. It’s there I become acquainted with the tenderness of His true nature. I am His beloved, the one who rests securely in His arms.

As the months and years have plodded by I have come to appreciate this place called stillness. His Spirit washes over me, as His words calm me. I discover in this place that He is becoming a verb in my life. No longer is the action up to me. He is the action in me. He invites me to rest in His work through me, allowing me to see things from His bird’s eye view.

There’s nothing like being in the rest of God’s embrace. It enfolds, soothes and nurtures you all at the same time. It’s in this tender place that I find Him as the one who delights in holding me close. As I’ve settled down in His hold I’ve come to see more of His heart.

Though I have loved watching my children grow and change, my favorite memories are the times I held them close. The gentle kisses, the sweet whispers of love were precious times. I tend to think God feels the same way about me. I think His favorite times with me are those endearing times that He gets to hold me close and whisper in my ear how desperately, deeply and intimately I am loved.

He is so safe, loving, personal and deep. I think I’ll linger here in this stillness for a while. For one day, I believe, He will set me back down on my feet to run.

How do you feel when there is stillness in your life? Do you see it as a time of hearing His heartbeat or do you try to fight your way down to run?

"Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders."

Deut. 33:12

You can find Julie at her blog: Jewelz Sightings

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Blogger Denise said...

Bless you dear one.

October 13, 2008 at 12:40 AM  
Blogger God Chaser said...

I find I have been in aperiod of stillness for a little while now, I have not always like it even though I knew the Lord was preparing me, holding me so He could teach me. You are right I can hear His heartbeat-it is so very near to me. He has poured so much in me in this time of stillness-yet like our children htere are moments I struggle to get out of His arms, but becasue He is the stronger-ther I stay and find what I need. thanks this was a great post.

October 13, 2008 at 1:23 AM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Julie, i used to be just like you, but now I embrace stillness and even crave it. You write SO beautifully, and you make me just want to crawl in my Daddy's lap right now. Thank you for sharing from your tender heart.

October 13, 2008 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

Beautifully written and the Spirit of God speaks so clearly to me (and I'm sure others) through the carefully chosen words.

Awesome call to all of us to slow down.

I needed this today.


October 13, 2008 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Wow! Great analogy of using the boy in relation to us wanting to be free of restraint! It's so true.

I have found that I have to have a daily appointment with God the moment the alarm clock goes off or else I may not take the time during the day to be with him and feel his love.

Thanks for your example!

October 13, 2008 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Darnelle said...

You always paint such a vivid picture of Father God's love and patience and grace. And the timing today was perfect, Friend!
You are His instrument, indeed.
love ya,

October 13, 2008 at 10:21 PM  

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