Yesterday I visited friends at the hospital who had just had their first child. Congratulations Robert and Bethany Parsons 🙂
Normally, I don’t touch babies. They’re fine and all but I don’t go near them until they can play practical jokes on their parents and laugh at my jokes (Conceited, I know). I decided to hold this baby.
I felt connected to this one. I felt it kick in it’s mommies tummy. I had been a part of the process. I picked up the tiny, swaddled, sleepy, baby and held him in my arms for an hour and some change.
It did something to me…
I just stared at his closed eyes, and touched his strawberry-blonde hair. I felt him breathing. I listened to his moms story about the birth. I looked around in the hospital. I watched 3 nurses come in during the 3 hours I was there.
God told me that He actually does have hands big enough to hold the whole world…
As you know, there are lots of questions I’ve been asking. I’ve been wrestling with a lot of thoughts. I’ve been wrestling with fears and hopes. I’ve been wrestling with now/then. Here/there. Head/heart.
That baby made me feel what God means when he says in Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God”. I said, “okay” and here I am.
Sometimes we all need a reminder. This life is not about me. Or you. It’s more than your job. Your marriage. Your kids. Your fears. My fears. Life is bigger than America. Life is bigger than the English language. Life is bigger than homosapiens. Life is bigger than Earth. Think about everything you know, right now-do it. Think about the things you knew in school that made you feel really smart. Do they still? Now think about everything you’ve ever been taught. And how someone had to teach that person… There’s so much knowledge. So much experience. So much life. We’re simply tiny existences in this grand scheme.
But is it really simple? We certainly are tiny compared to everything else, but God knows every thought you have ever thought and every thought you will ever think. He knows how many hairs are on your head (Matthew 10/Luke 12). This one gets me, He knows every feeling you’ve felt and ever will. I struggle with understanding what I feel- God knows every feeling. Not just mine either, He knows yours too.
As small as we indeed are, we’re the apples of His eyes. He loves us with a greater love than we can imagine. He has seen the purest and the most putrid and loves them just the same. He has given His son for us to live life free of bondage and free from our sins which are innumerable. He has given the most precious gift to give us, so human, so as to give us hope. “For I know the plans I have for you” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future”.
We are the most cherished, loved, cared for, desired, people God can imagine.
For the first time, while holding little Robby Parsons, I understood that feeling.
I layed in bed last night spewing thoughts as my wife fell asleep, because I was transformed in my thinking (as i’ve been praying for). It hit me that I am destructive in my own thoughts, often focused on my weaknesses and failures. God as my Father, Abba, doesn’t care about those. God is ready, with His arms open waiting for me to accept his hug.
That’s all we really need isn’t it? In all honesty and vulnerability, I think most of us can agree that after we lie, steal, cheat, abandon, etc, we don’t want to work towards righting our wrongs, we don’t want to run away from our mistakes, we want to live in the grace God has given us but we need a hug to believe that it’s okay. We’re all still children in many senses.
I’ve only learned this in the last several months, but the purest love is a love that can hear something that pains it deeply and then open up to become vulnerable and accept everything-good and bad. I pray that you have someone to hug you when you feel despicable. God’s there, but it’s not the same as actual arms.
As you seek God in your life, as you filter your heart, as you do your daily grind, take some time to think about how much there is in this world and how small you are compared to it. Then follow up with this (don’t forget to do this- it’s the important part), think about what it would be like to give up everything you have for someone who doesn’t deserve it and watch them leave it behind.
If you need help, visualize this: you have the keys to every cell in a prison. In each cell are people who have messed up. These people have been living in literal bondage for years. You come to each of their doors, tell them that you love them, open their cells and show them the way to freedom without consequence. Then you watch their eyes widen and their shoulders sink and you notice they’re not moving. You leave one and go to the next cell, this person has pushed his back to the wall and doesn’t move. And the next one, so on and so forth.
You’re small. You’ve messed up. We could go on about that. But you’ve been forgiven. You’ve been given life. Freedom. Hope. Plans to prosper. Please accept that freedom, like a hug. Please leave the cell. It’s uncomfortable and surely will take time to adjust, just like a baby emerging from the womb into a whole new world. It’s uncomfortable. It’s different. It’ll be years before they can function fully. In a few years, they in their smallness will be changing the world in His name with his Spirit.
These are a lot of words to say one thing that can give peace to all your anxiety.
Be still and Know that He is God.