I believe most of us first see the Face of God in our mothers. We learn to turn our infant heads to look in their faces. Faces which radiate the blessed light and sacred love they shine on us.
Then there are God’s everlasting arms. I first felt those arms when Mom held me in hers. Mom held me so near I could hear her heart beating. In her warm embrace her heartbeats were lost beneath the sweet sounds of her lullaby songs. Such comfort and peace as I fell asleep in the rocking chair creaking on the oak wood floor beneath us.
The same arms were felt by me when Mom cradled me when I was sick with polio. At those moments all that mattered was being held by her in complete silence. I am certain that those moments were used by Mom for silent prayers to God. In prayer she leaned on God’s everlasting arms. She certainly prayed for strength to trust that God was at work in all her worries and hopes for me.
I also felt God’s everlasting arms when I was a young boy. At the end of a car ride late at night, as I slept, Dad lifted me from the backseat. As he carried me up the stairs to my bedroom, I woke up enough to feel his arms holding me. I never worried about falling from his arms. In Dad’s arms I trusted in him that I was safe. I was secure.
When I was paralyzed with polio at six, Dad’s arms carried me from the bedroom to the car. Dad’s arms set me down softly in Mom’s lap as if I had descended to her on a cloud of love.
As Dad steered the car to the hospital where I would be quarantined, l had no idea God’s grace and everlasting arms were at work in all of this and what was to come.
Later in my life Dad walked beside me on our many walks together. Walks to strengthen my leg muscles so that I could walk on my own again. Often, I fell on the shell roads in Emmottville. Dad’s arms lifted me up time after time. Dad dusted me off. Then, we resumed our walks. Dad’s strong arms never cured me. But, they caught me many times. They picked me up many times.
Sometimes that is all we can do. God can be trusted to take care of everything else.
I am not interested in going to Heaven anytime soon. However, in my faith I believe that when I die, I will be picked up, carried to, received by, and lean on the everlasting arms of God forever. Then, I will experience with my Mom and Dad what they felt when their spirits made their way to Heaven. In the arms of God, I will know, like them, the everlasting comfort, security, and peace of God’s perpetual love and grace.
God has spoken in Scripture of the everlasting arms.
“The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms…”
Let us pray together.
Dear God, I thank You for Your everlasting arms. In those arms I am strengthened and comforted.
God, please keep steadfast my trust in You that You are my refuge in all things. That when I am in despair, I should believe in You. That when I feel alone and weak, I should remember that You and Your immutable purpose is being fulfilled.
God, may I rest under Your everlasting arms. As I lean on Your everlasting arms, I know You are at work. I can always trust that You are accomplishing the purposes of Your grace. Amen
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