I’m not sure if it was a bad dream, an upset stomach, or the fact he’s cutting half a dozen teeth at the same time that woke him, but his anguished cry instantly woke me.
I was a bit surprised as I hurried down the hall at 3:47 a.m. to his room, because he is my “angel baby” as I call him. He rarely awakes in the night, normally sleeping twelve to thirteen hours straight. (Talk about making me a softy mommy eh?!)
He was sitting up in his crib, waiting for me in the dark. When it didn’t seem like the pacifier and blankey routine was going to soothe him, I scooped him up and settled into the rocking chair. I wrapped my arms tightly around him, whispering in his ear, and he placed his head on my chest and went back to sleep. Within minutes his breathing told me he was back in a deep and happy sleep.
As I sat there in the dark, rocking my youngest, I realized it was a special moment. It wasn’t very often that my 14-month-walking-talking-sleep-through-the-night-big-boy needed me this way any more. I delighted in the fact I was needed, and that my arms, my heartbeat, my smell, my touch, my words, could still do the trick in instantly comforting another human being. Making him feel safe. Loved.
And then it hit me.
Just as I so relish being able to comfort, love, and care for the child whom I love, so our Heavenly Father delights in taking care of us, His children.
I’m afraid I often think of God “putting up with” my myriad of requests for help, my begging for mercy, my pleading for strength, stamina, and the bazillion things I think I need. I turn to Him often, yet sometimes I feel like I give God a lot of noise. A lot of grief. A lot of neediness to deal with.
And yet, if I can so delight in my child’s need to find comfort in my own arms, how much MORE does my Heavenly Father take pleasure in my turning to him for the very same things!
It is with joy that He receives me – and you – when we reach out to Him. He relishes those moments, He delights in being needed, in being able to offer the shelter, the encouragement, the love, the peace we so desperately need and desire.
The prophet Zephaniah reminds us: “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you…” (Zephaniah 3:17)
How blessed we humans are to serve a God who is not just our creator, king and judge, but is also our Father. Who loves us more than anyone or anything else ever could. Who desires our happiness above all else. And who delights in wrapping us in His ever wide, ever open, ever ready and willing-to-help arms of love.
When I was about 8 years old, my Dad gave me his autographed copy of Amy Grant’s 1986 album Age to Age (yep, the big black round disc thingy they called albums or records.). The following song became one of my favorites as a young girl. I hope you’ll listen here to the song Amy sings, and remember his Arms of Love are always there…for all of us.