Posted by: cjsrn | July 30, 2014

Safe with Papa

Safe with PapaMy wife and I just returned from a four day trip to Austin TX where we enjoyed a “Grandkid Fix”. It had been a few months since we saw them last, and really needed a pick-me-up. Every grandparent in the world knows exactly what I mean. There is no substitute in the world for it.

My grandkids are nine, seven, three, and the little one above will be one next month. Each is fascinating in their own way, and all are a joy to have around (most of the time). They bring blessings to my life I haven’t found anywhere else. I have several names and nicknames that I have worn over the years, but one of my favorites is Papa (my wife is MiMi).

My grandkids love to climb up in my lap and have me hold them, and I love to have them there. It gets even better when they tell me, “I love you, Papa”. And in the case of the little one, I can offer a place of comfort and rest if she will let me. But often times, she will fight it, as though she’s afraid that she might miss something important.

The picture above was taken just after I got my granddaughter to go to sleep by jiggling her on my knee. She was very tired but fought sleep to the bitter end. The title of the picture, which I also chose as the title for the blog, was provided by my daughter in law. I love the picture for itself, but also for the spiritual truths that God brings to mind as I view it.

This picture is a perfect example of the relationship God wants to have with us as Christians. “The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deut. 33:27, NASB). Jesus said, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). God offers us a place of safety and rest if we will come to Him and climb into His arms. But in order to do that, it takes surrender and full, unadulterated trust. “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it. And he (Jesus) took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying his hands on them” (Mark 10:15, 16).

My granddaughter can climb into my lap, but unless she is willing, I cannot get her to sleep. If she is pre-occupied with her brothers and sister doing something nearby, she will barely let me hold her. But when she is tired, I can provide a comforting place for her to rest, and she is no burden.

How often as Christians do we find our lives to be chaotic, and we ask God for peace and rest, but  receive neither? Later, when we have time to reflect, we realize that we were so pre-occupied with our situation and busily trying to deal with it, that we failed to surrender ourselves, come to God, and let him take us up into His arms to provide the answers, protection and rest we so greatly desired.

I plan to look at this picture often, probably even put it as wallpaper on my monitor, and remember that God is willing to do this for me as well.

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