“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3 (NIV).
With our youngest child, his sleeping habits still aren’t what they should be. I’m not sure if it’s something we’ve done differently or if it’s just his personality, but he’ll still wake up at night. When he does, he wants to crawl into bed and “cuddle.” I don’t mind. I realize this time too shall pass too soon, so I gladly welcome him into our bed, despite the fact he’ll inevitably whack me in the face several times in his sleep. What amazes me, though, is no matter how upset he is when he originally wakes up, he’s instantly calm and sound asleep within two minutes of settling in next to me. I marvel at the fact that he can sleep so peacefully just by being next to me. All anxiety or discontent is replaced immediately with peaceful, rhythmic breathing.
That experience with my son gets me thinking about my relationship with my Heavenly Father. God is given many names in the Bible and they all describe one or more attributes that He possesses. He is described as our Father for a reason. A Father is someone I can approach with confidence, knowing I am loved and He has my best interest at heart. I might not get what I’m asking for, but I can be assured there is a good reason behind His “no,” or “not now,” and that He delights in saying “yes” when it is appropriate.
I used to approach God in a different manner. More like a Judge who was waiting to convict me for everything I’ve done wrong. And believe me, there are many, many things He could convict me about… I could name a handful just from today. As my husband lovingly reminds me though, that’s not how God sees me.
I’m His child, therefore His purpose in my life is not to harshly judge me when I sin but instead to lovingly bring me back to alignment with His commandments and His Word, the Bible. So…instead of approaching Him as I would a police officer or Judge of a Court, I can approach Him confidently since He is pleased with me just because I’m His child. I don’t have to clean up my act to crawl up on His lap.
I just have to sit up in bed, after a nightmare or something else that woke me up, and cry out to Him, asking if I can crawl into bed with Him and cuddle. And, just like with my three-year-old, He will welcome me every time. I don’t need to be afraid of His answer, I don’t need to fear whatever situation I’m facing because I’m safe in my Father’s arms and He will take care of me. I can snuggle down close and let peaceful sleep envelop me, resting in His presence until I’m called into action.
And as I love to say because it’s true…What God’s willing and wants to do for me, He’s waiting to do for you. What’s holding you back from snuggling into God’s lap and allowing Him to ease your burdens so you can rest peacefully?
Happy Father’s Day to my husband, dad, dad-in-marriage, and all the other men I know who are committed to showing Christ’s love to their families.
Copyright: 2013 Cheri Swalwell