I have a 2 year old. For those of you who have children, those 6 words have more meaning than I could express in 1000 other written words. In addition to this, my 2 year old is painfully cutting her 2nd molars. As you can imagine, this makes for some interesting days in our household.
Two nights ago, my daughter woke up screaming at about 11pm. She was inconsolable; her teeth were hurting her so badly. As her mother, I wanted to be able to take the pain away. There was nothing that I could do for her except hold her, stroke her hair, and just love on her. As I held my baby girl, the Father began to speak to my heart, “This is how I long to hold you in your times of pain.”
I held my daughter until she fell asleep, and it was such a sound sleep too. She knew her mommy cared about her pain, and even though I couldn’t take it away, I could hold her and comfort her in the midst of it all. Could it be that this is how the Holy Spirit cares for us?
Exodus 34: 5-7 states: Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him [Moses] and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin… (NIV)
I love the part that says that the LORD maintains love. How do we maintain love? We build relationships and cultivate them. In the same way that my daughter has learned that mommy is there when she hurts, we learn that He is there when we are wounded and broken by cultivating a relationship with Him.
In Scripture, we are NEVER promised that we won’t have to endure pain and hardships, but He did say to Joshua that he would “never leave you nor forsake you”. (Joshua 1:5) That is the promise we can hold on to. And I must say that if you know what it feels like to be held by Him, you know that there is nothing else on earth like it.
I will end with this Scripture from Psalm 73:23-26: Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into your glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.