My very first memory must be from about 3 or 4 years old. I was running down the street on which we lived, my daddy close behind me, and I tripped. I lurched forward to land on my knees and elbows. Beyond that, all I remember is my daddy picking me up, soothing me and rushing me back to our pink tiled bathroom where he and my mom washed and bandaged my bloody knee.
That wound must have been pretty deep because I still bear its scar on my knee. But it’s not the blood or sting of the wound that flashes through my mind when I notice that dime-sized scar. The memory chiseled into my mind is of my daddy picking me up and rescuing me from the terror of a fall.
Funny thing, my other two first memories also center around my daddy tending to my wounds and comforting my fears. When I was five I broke my leg while flying high on our backyard swing set. It was my daddy who rushed me to the orthopedist and sat with me for hours until the doctor put my leg in a cast.
And when I was about seven I fell out of bed and busted my forehead open in the middle of the night. My daddy was the one who discovered the blood gushing from my head, loaded me in the car and drove me to the hospital for stitches. Strangely, my daddy, like me, has quite an aversion to blood and medical procedures. But my daddy stood right there and held my hand while the doctor stitched me up.
Maybe these initial memories explain why to this day I sleep my best when visiting my parents in their home. I trust my husband to protect me and he has never failed to do so. But these early memories of my daddy rescuing me from pain and tragedy seem to have so stuck with me that I always, always, always rest peacefully when I’m sleeping just down the hall from this dependable man…even if he is in his late 70s now. When I’m in my own house, I’m an adult. I’m responsible. I’m on duty. But when I’m at my daddy’s house, I sleep like a baby.
Do you have days when it’s hard to be a grown up? I do. I think maybe most everyone does. I’ve noticed a rash of memes on Facebook about how hard it is to be an adult…and how we just don’t want to a lot of days. I can relate. I bet you can, too.
Especially when life is a littler harder than normal. Or when it’s painful or frightening. Or when we get knocked off our feet and surprised by our own frailty. Or when life takes an unexpected turn and we find ourselves somewhere we’ve never been before…and we’re expected, as the adult, to hold it all together…and probably even hold everyone else together, too!
Yep. On those days I find it real tempting to go running home to my daddy. But of course I can’t. And I don’t. Very often.
But I am grateful that my daddy’s consistent and dependable care of me when I was a very young child, reinforced by the things he taught me about God over the years, created in me an equal if not greater trust in my heavenly Father’s ability to rescue me. I know beyond a shaddow of a doubt that God’s strong and everlasting arms are always available to pick me up, hold me close, soothe me and shelter me.
There is none like the God of Israel,
Who rides the heavens to your help,
And through the skies in His majesty.
The eternal God is a dwelling place,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;
And He drove out the enemy from before you,
And said, “Destroy!”
So Israel dwells in security,
The fountain of Jacob secluded,
In a land of grain and new wine;
His heavens also drop down dew.
Blessed are you, O Israel;
Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord…
Israel was blessed because God had committed to be a Father to them. You and I share that blessing if we have welcomed Jesus to be our Savior and Lord. Everyone is God’s creation, cherished and valued so much that He sent a Redeemer to restore us to a right relationship with Him. But only those who have accepted that gift have become His children.
And I’m so glad that with my God I can be a little girl. His little girl. I can run to Him when I am confused or hurt or weary or misunderstood. When I am tired of being an adult and holding it together I can run to the One who really holds it all together…and let Him hold me, too.
When I’m in my Father’s everlasting arms…
I can be brave…
I can navigate new challenges…
I can wait patiently, with hope and expectation…
I can see things from a new perspective…
I can be comforted…
I can face my very adult day with childlike joy…
and I can truly rest…sleep like a baby even.
If you have fallen down…allow your Father to pick you up and tend to your wounds. If you are frightened and unsure, run into His strong arms and let Him lift you up above whatever has you on the run. And if you’re tired…just tired…or tired of being the adult…take His hand. Let His everlasting arms be your strength and your dwelling place. In your Father’s everlasting arms you’ll find healing for yesterday, comfort for today and strength for tomorrow. And you’ll sleep like a baby.
A Prayer Suggestion
Go to your Father today like a child. Ask Him to be strong where you are weak, wise where you are clueless, able where you are weary and dependable where you are fragile. And then, sometime during the day, treat yourself to a child’s treat! If you have snow on the ground, build a snowman or throw a snowball. If you have dog that likes to romp and play, throw it a stick. Have a cup of hot cocoa or an ice cream cone. And while you enjoy your treat…enjoy the Father’s pleasure in you, His precious child.
This devotional is part of a series called Healing Words. If you’d like to read other words that bring healing to your wounded heart, click on the image below.
If your heart has been wounded and you are struggling to find healing, I’d like to suggest you try my Bible study, Joseph – Keeping a Soft Heart in a Hard Place. You’ll find more information here.