Monday, October 13, 2008

Still, In His Embrace

     Where do the years go and why do they have to fly by so quickly?  We encourage our children to take their first steps and before you know it they are running so quickly through life that we want to slow them down.  

    

     The toddler years brought the battle of restraint.  Finding their footing made each child eager to get down and run, independent and free.  But there were times when it wasn’t safe.  Holding my arms tight, my children often squirmed trying to break free of my hold.  A battle ensued testing the strength of my arms. 


      It was out of protection that I held them back.  It wasn’t safe to run, or even walk.  They had to be held and carried.  After minutes of struggling against my hold, they would finally settle down and nestle into my chest, often falling asleep.


     I had an active little boy.  He loved being independent and on the run.  I loved the moments when I held him close.  Those were precious times with memories that I still hold dear.  Now sixteen years old, I occasionally have to fight for hugs.  Those years of holding my son in my arms,  are still my favorite.


      Once again a picture spills into my mind revealing more intimately this place of stillness with God.  Aren’t many of us like my boy?  Could it be that we enjoy life more when we are busy for Him, running free and independent, while He savors the moments of holding us close?  

    

      I believe He loves it when I linger in His arms, depending on Him to carry me where I need to go.  Why do I fight to break free and run.  Why do I fight against His restraint?  He pulls me close to cuddle me and tell me how deeply I am loved.   Yet, I wrestle to be busy and independent.   The thing is, He didn’t create me to be independent of Him.  I was made to be carried by Him.


     For years I didn’t like stillness.  I found it difficult to sit through a meal without moving some body part around.  Energy coursed through me as a young child.  I wanted to be moving all the time.  To this day my husband still laughs when my foot starts to swing.   


     When God called me into stillness, at first I struggled against it wanting to be free to run.  Tenderly he clasped His arms around me and held me tight.  “Not yet, dear Jewel, it’s not safe.”  “Stay with me a while.”  “I have some things I want to tell you.”  “Rest dear one, rest.”  “I’ve got you.”  “When it’s time I will set you free to run, but for now I need you here with me.” Eventually I settled down and nestled into Him.  


      It’s in the stillness as I cease from my efforts, that I truly hear His heartbeat.  It’s there I become acquainted with the tenderness of His true nature.  I am His beloved, the one who rests securely in His arms.

     

     As the months and years have plodded by I have come to appreciate this place called stillness.  His Spirit washes over me, as His words calm me. I discover in this place that He is becoming a verb in my life.  No longer is the action up to me.  He is the action in me.  He invites me to rest in His work through me, allowing me to see things from His bird’s eye view.


     There’s nothing like being in the rest of God’s embrace.  It enfolds, soothes and nurtures you all at the same time.  It’s in this tender place that I find Him as the one who delights in holding me close.  As I’ve settled down in His hold I’ve come to see more of His heart.


     Though I have loved watching my children grow and change, my favorite memories are the times I held them close.  The gentle kisses, the sweet whispers of love were precious times.  I tend to think God feels the same way about me.  I think His favorite times with me are those endearing times that He gets to hold me close and whisper in my ear how desperately, deeply and intimately I am loved. 


      He is so safe, loving, personal and deep.  I think I’ll linger here in this stillness for a while.  For one day, I believe, He will set me back down on my feet to run.


    How do you feel when there is stillness in your life?  Do you see it as a time of hearing His heartbeat or do you try to fight your way down to run?


     "Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders."   Deut. 33:12


©copyright: 2008 Julie L. Todd

     

22 comments:

Amy said... Reply to comment

Julie,

You amaze me with your ability to write so beautifully!

To answer your question, "How do you feel when there is stillness in your life?" I have found that nothing compares to resting in our Daddy's lap. After wiggling for a while, I have settled peacefully in His arms. It's an amazing feeling! GOD IS SO GOOD!!

I love you, my dear sister in Christ!

Amy

Devita said... Reply to comment

What a great reflections of God's love! You wrote so beautifully that i suddenly see myself. What have I done to make Him happy? Have I rest in Him?

This writing is really wonderful! thank you sister.

Jenn said... Reply to comment

What a beautiful post! I believe we all feel peace when we are resting in our Father's arms. However, we so easily jump up and take up busyness instead of being still.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving me a comment!

Sharon said... Reply to comment

Peace, If only even myself would slow down and quit squirming so much. I don't always do this, but should slow down. This was a great post and was written fantastic, I felt the Lord really reached in your heart on this one.
Be blessed
Sharon

Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said... Reply to comment

Beautifully written and the Spirit of God speaks so clearly to me (and I'm sure others) through the carefully chosen words.

Awesome call to all of us to slow down.

I needed this today.

ThankYOU!

Denise said... Reply to comment

Beautiful words from a beautiful heart.

Joyful said... Reply to comment

I love stillness. It's when I'm still that I know that He is God. It's the "Mary" in me that wants to sit at His feet and gaze at Him. Not a quick glance, but a long lingering.

Beautiful post Julie,
Joy

Paula said... Reply to comment

Thank you Julie. This is just what I needed to read today as I'm home from work not feeling well, and fighting the urge to do things around home while knowing that I must rest. I find it very hard to sit still and have a 'to do' list that needs desperate trimming. I will rest today, and meditate on His Word to hear Him speak the words I need to hear. Thank you again. In Him, Paula

Miranda said... Reply to comment

That was beautiful, Julie. Thanks for sharing, you brought tears to my eyes as I thought of my little ones growing up so quickly. What a rich comparison when I think of how I squirm away from the Lord, too busy to give Him the time my soul longs for.

Thanks as well for visiting my blog. I feel a kinship with you, and I'm glad to know there are others that think in the somewhat different way that I do.

God bless your day and your beautiful family!

Miranda

Laura said... Reply to comment

Julie,
i so relate to that difficulty being still! (and to having little boys squirm out of my arms). Our Pastor, this weekend, made the statement that so many of us have "Christian ADD". He likened what God sees when He looks down on us to what we see when we observe a bunch of six year olds playing soccor: running around aimlessly, willy nilly; getting distracted at the first butterfly that comes along.
Sigh.
I don't want to be like that. i want to keep my eyes on the goal. But I know, I sometiems get distracted. Being still on a regular basis helps me to stay focused.
But
I'm
Still
Working
On
That.
Love You.
Laura

MoziEsmé said... Reply to comment

Beautiful! I constantly try to fill the stillness - it takes a deliberate and cognitive choice to just rest in His embrace. Yet I am always rewarded when I do.

Cindy said... Reply to comment

Wrestlessness in my spirit has consumed me over the past couple of years. Distractions, disappointments, and depression have been clinging to me.

Stillness brings fear.

This post ~ beautifully written ~ makes me want to run.

God is certainly not finished with me yet.

Tiffany Stuart said... Reply to comment

Words cannot describe the value of this post! It's SO of Him. I am speechless because this is so personal to me.

I'm there, Julie. I'm in His embrace and I love it. He is the greatest of cuddlers.

Love you,
Tiffany

Shanda said... Reply to comment

Beautifully written. Wish I could say that I was comfortably up in His arms, but I feel more like I'm out in no man's land: not free to hear His heartbeat and not free to run either.
Waiting...in the stillness.
Patience

2nd Cup of Coffee said... Reply to comment

Thanks for commenting at the cafe today; I appreciate it very much. And about stillness--I still struggle with that, but since you put it in the light of your favorite memory being just holding your child close, that totally hit home with me and made me desire to be still. I'm working on it.

Kimberly said... Reply to comment

I am a definitely a wiggler in my Daddy's arms. Thanks for this beautiful picture. The picture of Him enjoying me being in His embrace. The picture of Him wanting to keep me safe and hold me close. And I love the verse from Deuteronomy!

Learning to sit still,
K

Lynnette Kraft said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie,
This is my first time at your blog. I'm making my rounds today...and I'm not sure how I got here, but here I am! :)

I had one of those still, cuddly moments with my 1 year old just a while ago. I agree...those are precious. Precious when they are with our children...precious when they are with our husband...and especially precious when they are with our Saviour.

Thank you for sharing. You're quite a writer. :)

I'd love to have you visit me - and don't forget to say hello.

Lynnette
www.lynnettekraft.blogspot.com

Cindy said... Reply to comment

Hey Julie,

Just wanted to come back by and thank you for your most kind and encouraging words the other day. I treasure them and your bloggy friendship.
I am doing much better today. Feeling peace again.

Blessings, Cindy

ann ominous said... Reply to comment

well thanks!

your family is beautiful!!

Cindy said... Reply to comment

Julie,

It is possible that it is hormonal except I had a complete hystorectomy when I was only 26 and have been off hormones for several years. So who knows.

I'm just thankful that I'm better today. I had my annual today and will be doing lots of those 50 year old tests over the next couple of weeks so at least I should get a clean bill of health.

Thanks for your prayers.
Cindy

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

I have to admit, my first response to stillness or to emptiness (in a schedule, for example) is to fill it. I have to prayerfully try NOT to do anything. Oh, I love the quiet. I guess, sometimes I just don't allow myself to embrace and enjoy all that He has to offer.

A work in progress for certain...

Just To Praise Him... said... Reply to comment

Oh that I had time to sit and talk with you awhile. I cannot tell you how you have confirmed something with me that God has been trying to beat into my head forever. I write. It's what I do. But for some reason I have this wall that keeps me from truly dedicating my life to it. I don't know if it is because i am afraid that no one will care or that when i actually sit down, the words will not come. He told me not to long ago through a wonderful friend that He had called me to praise, that it was my identity and that I was not to think of any words to small or insignificant and that He would give me words to praise Him. Well, that is all well and good but since I would rather sing than breath, I figured it was going to be through song. He keeps sending me not so subtle hints that it is not. It is through written word. UUGGHH! I wisdh I knew what it was with me... I love Him so much and want to praise Him more than anything but music is such a big part of me...I don't know...I just don't know...but thank you for stirring something in me that I needed to have stirred. And thank you so much for coming to meet me. It has been more of a blessing than you know. Have a good one in good ol' Georgia. I guess we're kinda like neighbors or something...lol.