His Arms (A Repost)

Last night I was on the phone with a friend who learned this week of her breast cancer diagnosis. The sighs are deep, and I needed this today. Perhaps you might, too?
(From January, 2008)

The cries were piercing over our baby monitor, waking me from a deep sleep. Bella calling out for Mommy in an agonizing wail. With Brian in Northern Virginia, my parents stay with me to help care for the children, and Mom jumps at every chance to hold her grandbabies. I soon heard her tender voice soothing Bella, but the wails only intensified. She screamed louder and louder, calling my name with desperation, stabbing my heart with each sob. I didn’t know what caused her cries, but I was certain of one thing. My child needed me, and I would go to her.

As soon as Mom handed her to me, Bella stilled, snuggling in my lap, thumb in mouth, soft hiccups as she burrowed deep into my arms. The room darkened as Mom left us alone, and Bella murmured a soft, “wock, wock” as we began the gentle sway back and forth, back and forth. Within five minutes, her deep sighs whispered to me that she was asleep, and I held her. I knew I could put her back in her crib and return to my bed, but I had no desire to. I wanted to hold her like this forever. So we sat in the rocker, and I breathed in her sweet baby smell all powdery and fresh.

As I sat there, my head started to nod and I’d snap back awake not wanting to end the moment. I considered for a second taking her to bed with me, more for my sake than hers. Then the realist in me set in. There would be no way to prevent her from rolling off Bri’s side of the bed. I’d never get any sleep because I would worry about her all night. Then I’d be cranky and impatient with the children the next day. I knew it was for her good and mine to put her back down even though I didn’t want to. I ached to hold her, and it was as comforting to me as it was to her to have her in my arms.

Jesus loves to hold me like that. I have talked with, heard from, prayed for and cried over so many of my friends (old and new) who are struggling and suffering. There is a part in every one of us that cries out for Jesus like Bella cried for me. And He runs to us and He holds us and He comforts us. He promises to be there whenever we call, and He will never nod off to sleep. He is awake all night with His loving arms of protection around us. I held Bella and worried about my own comfort, my own needs, yet He gave up all of His. For me. For me!

I run to so many other things for peace. It’s easy to bury my head in a book or project. Yet only One thing satisfies. Only He will bring the comfort I truly need and truly want. And as it was for my Bella-Girl with her Mommy, my heart cries out that no one else will do. Only I could calm her restlessness, just as I long for His arms around me when I wake full of fear. When I hear of others whose cancers have returned, and I know there are no certainties for me, one thing is certain. I am inscribed on the palms of His hand. My name is written in the book of life. And His strong arms are holding me now and every second of my tomorrows until He calls me home.

Francis Schaeffer wrote:

The Christian is the really free man–he is free to have imagination. This, too, is our heritage. The Christian is the one whose imagination should fly beyond the stars.

Have you ever thought about that day? Wept in anticipation? Dreamt of that moment when you are in His presence?

I often picture what it must be like–every sense heightened by perfection. Breathe in the sweet aroma of Christ with me. Feel the heartbeat under His chest and think of yours, sinless. Laugh with Him as your body moves pain free forever. Look down at your robes, spotless white. Hear His voice saying your name, a name He loves. Taste His tears mingle with yours as you weep together for the final time, old friends finally reuniting, because you have known each other for all these years.

Imagine with me for a minute how it will feel when the most powerful arms in the universe embrace you. Those arms will be wonderfully familiar, because those are the arms that are holding you now. No pain, no cancer, no accident, no emotion, no lie, no heartache, no broken dream, no death, no person, no sin can steal that from you. Will you take a moment and feel His arms with me? They are there and they always will be.

5 responses to “His Arms (A Repost)”

  1. I needed that Angie! Thanks! Love you so!

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    1. And I love you, sweet Gina.

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  2. My precious Angie,

    A beautiful picture of unmerited favor. God never leaving us or forsaking us. God bless you my dear one.

    Love and Blessings,
    Judie

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    1. God’s faithfulness–our resting place. Blessings to you, Judie.

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  3. I sent this to a co-worker who lost his wife on Friday from a freak accident. Thank you for giving me words that I could not conjure up myself. Oh how I long for the day. How I ache for those who feel the need for that day even stronger than I.

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