A Place to Hide
Psalm 27:5,10 "For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock... Even if my father and my mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close" (NLT).
I've never experienced the physical affection of a loving earthly father. I have experienced the loving affection of an earthly mother, and that has been an immeasurable gift; but my longing for an earthly father cut a jagged hole into my heart years ago, and that hole has never truly been satisfied.
But God. God has been healing my father wound for many years. And with each passing day He shows me yet another way that HE is my father.
I love this verse in Psalm 27, because it makes me think of a little child curled up in the safety of their daddy's arms. They know they are safe because they know their dad is safe. And strong, and good, and He will protect them.
Few things rattle me like watching a father hold his child. And although my heart is often pierced with a painful longing at the sight, many times I can hear my Heavenly Father whisper in my ear: "That's Me and you."
A child can fall asleep in their father's arms because they know that whatever happens he'll take care of it. They can let go. They can trust themselves to be defenseless in his presence.
The same is true with God and His children.
We can rest and hide in the sanctuary of His love. The safety of His presence. The sweetness of His embrace. We can close our eyes and let go of everything that concerns us because we know that our Father is so much bigger than any possible threat waged against us. Any circumstance. Any form of devastation or loss. We can know that we are safe in His arms.
Many of us (myself included) can get caught up trying to earn God's love. Trying to earn His protection or affection.
But a little child curled up in their father's arms isn't trying to earn anything. And if you've ever heard a little child ask their parent to hold them you know they're often not shy about it.
They simply look at their parent and hold their arms up. Sometimes they say "Daddy pick me up!"
We, as Christians, can do this same thing with our Heavenly Father. And we know we can do this with the boldness of a little child because of verses like Hebrews 4:16 which says, "So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most" (NLT).
Jesus expresses the Father's heart the same way in Matthew 19:13-14 "One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. But Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.' And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left" (NLT).
This passage literally makes me cry. As someone with an earthly father wound, it is so beautiful and healing to envision my Savior, My Heavenly Father, rebuking his disciples for suggesting the little children running around Him are a burden or a nuisance.
On the contrary, Jesus declares that his disciples should try to emulate the little ones around them. Then He places His hands--that would soon be scarred by nails to purchase their future with Him--and He places His hands on their little heads and He blesses them.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then God is your Heavenly Father. You are not a nuisance or a burden to Him. On the contrary He delights when you come to Him with the rambunctious spirit, or the honest neediness of a little child. He offers you the sanctuary of His embrace. He delights in placing His nail scarred hands on your head and blessing you.
Some day my Heavenly Father's embrace will go beyond the internal comfort of His Spirit. Some day I will see Him in person. And I will feel the tangible warmth of His arms around me. I will experience the tenderness of His embrace for real... until that day, He will continue to console my heart with His truth, and fill me with the indescribable comfort of His Holy Spirit when I need it most. And He will use my own broken, wounded pieces to draw me into a deeper understanding of His love.
Romans 8:15-16, "So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, 'Abba, Father. For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children" (NLT).
Matthew 7:11, "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him" (NLT).
Isaiah 40:11, "He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart..." (NLT).