In God's Arms
Sometimes, Kal or I babysit for one of our favorite babies, Grace Atufunwa. Grace is Chisom and Rachel Smith Atufunwa’s daughter. I’ve known Rachel for years, and she and Chisom go to church with us. We are also in a small group together.
So Grace is quite familiar with our family and doesn’t get upset when her parents leave her with us. But this week, Rachel had to drop Grace off unexpectedly and Grace had just fallen asleep in the car. If you’ve been around babies, you know this is tragic. Any child who has just fallen asleep and has to wake up without getting her nap out – Yikes. And then while she’s grumpy and crying and disoriented, her mama leaves. Poor baby. It’s going to be a long day.
Grace would not let me hold her when Rachel left. She stood at the screen wailing, watching Rachel walk away, rebuffing me completely, until the car drove away. Then she turned to me in defeat and let me pick her up and hold her. She finally put her head on my shoulder and cried, but she didn’t fight. She LET me comfort her. This is what I had been trying to do for 10 minutes, but she wouldn’t let me. When she finally conceded, I held her and swayed with her until she fell back asleep. Then she slept hard for almost 2 hours.
This is like our relationship with God. When we are upset, He can help us, but not if we push Him away. We have to LET Him hold us and comfort us. I knew what Grace needed. I knew she needed to go back to sleep. I knew if she would only relax in my arms and not fight me, she would feel great in a short while. But I couldn’t make her trust me. She had to choose to trust me.
Just like I could see what Grace needed, God also knows what we need. He can see it better than we can, especially when our sight is blurred from tears or anger. But we have to relax in His grace and His love and not fight him. He won’t make us trust Him. We have to choose that.
When Grace finally relaxed, I realized a baby doesn’t trust someone unless she’s got a history with them. I was honored she let me comfort her. We’ve already got a history with God. He has proven that He’s trustworthy. I of all people know it’s hard to relax and trust God when I’m upset, but my mind knows this is the only thing that will restore my peace. I have to relax in His arms. I have to remember that He can see what I can’t and He knows what I need.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles.” II Cor. 1:3-4