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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Recently my husband and I got nostalgic about watching home videos. It's been years since we pulled them out of the drawer and oohed and aahed over how cute the kids were when they were little. We were sure they would enjoy watching their younger selves too.

We did have a good time watching the videos. And the kids laughed hysterically at certain parts. Mind you, they were not the parts I thought were funny. For example, we used to have a day bed, and for years our three boys slept together in that one bed. There was a trundle bed we would pull out, but the boys would somehow find themselves snuggled up next to each other night after night.

The trundle bed was used for bouncing instead of sleeping.

One night when Josh was about 3-1/2 and Dylan about 2, we were sitting in their room watching them jump from the bed to the trundle bed - which was about a foot drop. I was holding the video camera while Tod sat on the floor next to the bed, just in case somebody took a tumble.

It was Dylan's turn to jump, and he said in the most adorable two-year-old voice you can imagine: "Watch me Daddy, watch me." He then proceeded to jump off the bed, but not far enough out. His little diapered bottom caught the edge of the bed and catapulted him forward onto the bottom bed and then onto the floor - just out of reach of his waiting daddy.

The video comes to a screeching halt as I probably threw it on the floor and dove to grab my baby, knocking my husband out of the way in the process.

I wanted to cry watching that video of my poor baby. The four males in my household, on the other hand, were laughing so hard they could hardly press the rewind button to watch it again ... and again ... and again. Dylan and Robbie grabbed their phones in order to record it and send it around their cyber world. Not sure if it's on YouTube yet. Tod and Josh couldn't stop laughing long enough to do that.

All I wanted to do was grab Dylan, who is now 16 and as tall as me, and rock him in my arms to comfort him. That wasn't happening. I think I caught a warning glance from his face in between snorts of laughter.

As I contemplated that part of my heart that was breaking all over again at Dylan's fall, I realized God was showing me a part of Himself - the part that longs for me to turn to Him when I need comfort.

The longing to comfort my children when they are in pain is almost physical. It's odd to admit, but I get a bit of pleasure and satisfaction at being able to ease their pain. It connects us in a rare way when I'm able to reach past their exteriors and touch their hearts.

Is this how God feels? Does it give Him pleasure when I turn to Him in my pain? Not pleasure because of the pain I'm feeling, but because I acknowledge I need Him. I can't do this on my own. I can't erase my pain. I can't ease my own stress. I need God's comfort and peace.

And yet I repeatedly try to do just the opposite. I try and fill the empty, broken places of myself with busyness and tasks.

After Dylan's fall, he allowed his Mommy to scoop him up in her arms and hold him until his crying ceased. Then, reassured of my love and presence, I'm pretty sure I remember him getting back up on the bed and trying again.

There was definitely a lesson in that video for me. It wasn't why guys love the best sports bloopers of the year. It was that I need to allow God to comfort me more, instead of trying to do it myself.

How do I do this? The psalmist spoke God's directions for this in the most simple terms:

"Be still and know that I am God."

I don't have to go anywhere, buy any special book or CD or have anyone help me find God's comfort. I just have to be still long enough for God to draw near to me and make His loving presence known. Just like I raced to Dylan, God races to me.

If you need comfort today, my friend. I pray you allow God to scoop you up in His arms until you feel His peace seep into your heart.

In His Love,


Allison Hyde said...

I love this post. It speaks to me in so many ways. I hear people all the time say "God only gives us what we can handle." and I want to scream at the top of my lungs, "NO! He only gives us what He can handle so that we run to Him when we can't handle it." He does want to comfort us and He does it so perfectly, He does want to lead us, and it is always in the right direction, He does want to be everything to us, because He is all that we need. I also get this on a personal level. I have three teenagers myself and watching them as young adults beginning to have some very real hurts in life, not just the "boo-boos" of toddler-hood, is hard as the mom, because I know that the only One to truly comfort them is Him, and He is all sufficient, but so many times I want to reach out and grab them and hold them until their pain goes away like I did when they were babies. Thank you!

shutterhappyhope said...

Thanks for sharing!

Wendy Blight said...

I loved your post today. "Be still and know that I am God"...I LOVE that verse. When I take the time to actually obey, I am amazed at what my Father speaks to me.



Jackie Roth said...

I clicked on your blog from Lysa Terkerst and have been blessed from this post. Thank you for the reminder. So true.
My kids are 20, 18, 16, and 13 and still like hugs but don't need the care like they used to of course. Unlike us with God, we need Him more and more
Jackie Roth

Anonymous said...

I really needed this reminder today. The past month has found me facing some of the hardest challenges of my life. I need to let God hold me in His arms. I need to allow myself to cry on His shoulder. Thank you for reminding me that He loves me more than I could ever love my own children!

Julie Gillies said...

Oh Glynnis, I absolutely LOVED this post! I laughed SO hard just reading about all your guys laughing...while you were sad and reliving the trauma of your toddler's plunge to the floor. Isn't it strange how differently we see things?

What IS it about guys thinking getting hurt is hilarious? My husband and son will watch America's Funniest Home Videos and roar...while I cringe.

Thank you for this heartfelt yet amusing devo. And for a much-needed laugh. :)

shutterhappyhope said...

Thanks - I'm definitely biased about my puppies, but I think they're adorable. =) You should post a picture of your dog. I went to the State Fair today and almost made it out of the livestock barn without stepping in poop...almost. Then, I was reminded how grateful I was for small dogs. ;)

Amber Ford said...

Thank you Glynnis for making me laugh. I too try to fill the empty and broken places of my life with busyness and tasks. And I often commend myself for a job well done, tell myself I'm so productive, and smile when much has been accomplished at the end of the day. But when I come before God, the busyness turns out to be a mask for raw emotions underneath. And the job well done was often actually a distraction from bringing more glory to God if I hadn't been so busy.
Thank you for the sweet reminder of God's open arms, waiting to comfort us. May you be embraced by Him throughout the remainder of this week. :-)