I sat next to my son’s small, curled up body completely at a loss for how to comfort him. His heart was being torn apart by a reality we neither could control, and I felt so desperate for him. Would holding him be enough, in this moment, to comfort him? I reached out and pulled his trembling body onto my lap that has all but been outgrown and hugged him to myself, gently rocking him like I used to when he was littler. He was crying uncontrollably and asking me questions I couldn’t find an answer to, and I sat there staring at the ceiling with tears running down my cheeks. Dear God, if I could take this pain from him, I would.
I was too numb then to hear the whispers of the Holy Spirit. Too bitter about the pain I couldn’t control in the lives of my children. Too hurt by the perceived silence of our Daddy God to hear His gentle voice. Maybe because I was screaming, I don’t know. But a few days later while talking all this out with a friend, it tumbled off my lips, “This must be the way God feels about us.”
The moment I said it, I realized with such surety it was true. This is exactly the way God feels about us. Looking at us, steeped in our sin and the pain of this life. He looks down with such tender pity, with tears streaming down his face because if he could, he’d take it all. And in fact, he made a way to do just that. He sent Jesus, who came and lived among us, experiencing all the pain and disappointment, hearing the temptations we so often fall into, and then died an agonizing death to liberate us forever from the grip of Satan.
And the awful truth is that we often remain subject to the kingdoms of flesh and decay because we refuse to recognize the Way. The Way to freedom, the Way to redemption. The lap of our everlasting Father beckoning to us. The arms that have always ached to hold us. To shelter us. To hide us. To fight for us.
Instead, we settle into brokenness. We stop struggling with the enemy and crumble beneath the weight of the battle against us. We believe Satan’s lies, and we accept the fetters and chains. Instead of looking up, we look down, our heads bowed in defeat. We are overcome instead of overcomers.
Can you see Him reaching down to you? Can you lift your weary arms one more time to take the hand of the Father who wants to pull you out of that pit? Will you accept His strong arms pulling you up from there? Will you allow him to take care of you like a Father would, gently taking off your dirty, torn rags, washing you and loving draping robes of purest white around you? Holding you lovingly while you heal, whispering motherly love-songs in your ear as you sit in His embrace? Oh, how God longs to comfort us!
“…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings… (Matthew 23:37)”