We've all heard the famous line, "there's no place like home." For most of us I would say that is true, as home is our place of comfort, our place of refuge, a place to feel secure and safe. We spend a large portion of our lives and incomes building and decorating our homes to create this sense of security. We treat our home as a fortress through which the world and its problem cannot penetrate. We have locks on the doors, windows, animals to alert us, and alarms to notify us if someone were to intrude.
I have basically just described what purpose home serves, but my thinking was changed recently. My wife and I just recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, and due to a few medical complications, she was placed in the NICU for thirty-six hours. We couldn't hold her or feed her, all we could do was change her diaper and stare at her for the first several hours. It was difficult to say the least - to have a new child that you cannot hold or fully embrace. I had spent so much time anticipating picking her up and holding her. So you can imagine how special it was when I finally was able to do so.
THE ARMS OF THE FATHER
Holding her tightly against my chest, it took her no time at all to fall asleep. As I held her and watched her sleep I couldn't help but notice how at peace she was, even considering she had spent countless hours in the NICU with a feeding tube, laying on her side under a heat lamp. Yet none of that bothered her, nor did it seem to bother her to be vulnerable, without ability to care for herself, protect herself, or feed herself. Why so much peace? She was at home. She was in the arms of a father who cared for and loved her, willing to do anything to keep her safe. She was home in the arms of me, her earthly father.
What if I viewed my home as being in the arms of the Father? No matter how expensive, decorated, or safe our earthly home is, it can’t compare to being in the arms of the Father. We can trust in him for in His arms we are safe, loved, cared for. If an earthly father can hold his child and love, how much more love does the God of universe feel for his child?
In the arms of the father we can take rest from the burdens of this world. We can find rest during the storms of life, whether they be light and momentary or a prolonged season of suffering. Can you see yourself in the arms of a father like you would hold a child in your arms? It's a beautiful sight. It's a comforting feeling.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” - Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
So if you feel homesick, or burdened by life's problems, consider yourself a child in the arms of the Father. Be at peace in his loving arms. I felt a new sense of home after that night in the hospital, and I spoke these words to my Heavenly Father. May they be words you speak to him as well.
"In your loving embrace, I'll find my place,
From now to the end of my time.
With your arms open wide, you satisfy,
It's your love that keeps me alive."
(Written by Mark Ledford, 2015)