Safe in His Arms

When I was a little girl, I was stung in the head by a bee. It occurred on the day my mother designated as ‘hair washing day.’ My ponytails were undone, my once neatly sectioned parts were untidy, and I was pleasantly free from prim and proper to comfortably carefree. I was playing outside, with my wild hair, near a shed where my father and brothers were working, unaware of bees swarming above me. While carelessly skipping and dancing around in my imaginary world, I heard a buzzing near my head. Soon after, I felt the intense sting of a bee in the middle of my head. The pain sent me screaming and crying with arms flailing into the house, where I sought the safety of my mother. She tended to the sting and allowed me whatever time I needed to cry everything out – the physical pain, the embarrassment, and the ridicule from my brothers. I cried myself to sleep on the living room couch, not awakening until dinner time.

It’s difficult today to live a life unaware of our surroundings. What’s looming in our midst is no longer someone else’s problem. The struggles and complexities of our government, our health care system, our education system, our climate, and our relationship with God all pierce the daily realities of our families and communities intimately. Still, God allows us to find His grace in times of need, to include rest that carries us through the darkest hours. God carries us when we’re weak from the stings of life. We’re safe in His arms.

“Because we don’t have a high priest who can’t sympathize with our weaknesses but instead one who was tempted in every way that we are, except without sin. Finally, let’s draw near to the throne of favor with confidence so that we can receive mercy and find grace when we need help.”– Hebrews 4:15-16

“Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

Better Days

We are living in peculiar times. We’re experiencing unprecedented struggles that have yielded a bold complaint from our heart to God’s ear, “This isn’t fair.” Job, in the Bible, suffered unimaginative loss and pain, repeatedly. When Job couldn’t take it anymore, Job demanded God explain Himself. His heart questioned God. What is this?

Job’s suffering came at a permissive utterance from God. God made a back-room deal with Satan, allowing Satan to attack Job. The book of Job details his struggles, but also his repentance and recovery. Job’s story is good news for us today.

God is writing a book with the details of our struggles and our overcoming. The book God is writing concerning our journey is proving to be a best-seller. Our loved ones will read about the back-room deal God made with Satan at the onslaught of what we thought was going to take us out. They’re going to learn about how we pressed through and made it over. Maybe our book will take 42 chapters as in the book of Job, or perhaps it’ll take more. No matter the length of our book, God will get the glory in all we go through if we’re mindful of the words our heart speaks.

In despair, do we curse God? In disappointment, do we question God without deeper reflection? God understands our frustration in times of uncertainty. He also understands our anger. However, when times of weakness push us to poor choices, we allow our love for God to direct us to an intimate moment of remorse. Our authentic encounter opens the window of experiencing more with God, to include gaining back everything we lost and more.

Hold on! Don’t throw away all you’ve experienced with God! Your better days are ahead.