Pastor's Blog

Safe in the Father’s Embrace

Lately, I’ve been feeling very dry and dead inside. I decided to do some personal refreshing—something we all need from time to time. I started reading Soul Keeping, by John Ortberg. In the introduction, he speaks about his relationship with Dallas Willard. He tells a story about a young child that would come into his father’s room and crawl into bed. Since it was dark, the child could not tell if his father was looking at him. Dallas says the child would ask, “Is your face turned toward me, Father?” Only when the father had assured him that his face was turned toward the boy could the child sleep. This struck me deeply because of my granddaughter, Gloria.

              Gloria and her mother live with me and my wife. She has been with us all her life and is the joy of Nana and Pawpaw (my wife and me). Most evenings her mother works until after bedtime. For this reason, Gloria starts the night with us. She climbs into bed between the two of us. But Gloria will not sleep if Pawpaw is turned away from her. I will hear her little voice say, “Pawpaw! Sleep with me!” This is her way of asking me to roll over and face her—a request that is always honored. Once I roll over to face her, she will quickly fall asleep no matter how dark. She feels safe and loved because her Pawpaw is facing her.

              I want you to take this to heart. Gloria just knows that, with Pawpaw present and facing her, she is safe. She can rest in my arms, knowing that I will not abandon her and will protect her. It’s funny because her mother comes in later and carries Gloria to her bed. Gloria will often get up during the night and find her way back to Pawpaw’s arms and face.

              Think about this for a moment. God, our eternal Father, is always looking upon you. You are safe; you can rest; you can trust. There is no danger that can overcome you. Yes, we may have trouble in this life. Yes, we may struggle. This is not a prosperity gospel. But no matter what comes in this life, your Father is looking upon your face and keeping an ever-watchful eye upon you. And, whether you recognize it or not, you are wrapped safely in his embrace. Nothing can remove you.

              You can trust God, just as Gloria trusts her Pawpaw.

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