“Arms up,” I would tell my boys when they still needed help to get dressed. They would reach up and I would put the shirt on in the morning or take it off at night when it was time for pjs. We would make a game of it, seeing how high they could reach, how long they could hold them up if I snuck in a tickle or two.
If they were tired, hurt, or just needed quick reassurance, they would put their arms up in the air and my hubby and I would pick them up and hold them tight. Sometimes we might dance around once they were secure in our arms. Our sons knew instinctively that nothing could touch them once they were in our arms.
One of my former students is a full time missionary in South America reaching out to those who live in the jungle regions. When I picture him, I still see the gregarious boy in my language arts class. Now, I read his posts and even though he is just eighteen, in many ways I see a wiser, older man. I am proud of his decision to move away and embrace what God was calling him to do. He is precious to me, much like an adopted son, and I imagine there are times when he wants to hold his arms up and be wrapped by his parents’ arms.
It is times like these when I find myself holding my student up to our Heavenly Father. Praying for his protection, for his courage, and praying for his spirit to be held up by the Holy Spirit.
I am in the season of life when the young men and women who once played with my sons in my backyard are now in college and quite a few of them are in the military. I celebrate their accomplishments, I also pray for them when I see their faces in my newsfeed.
The beloved of the LORD dwells in safety. The High God surrounds him all day long, and dwells between his shoulders.
The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:12, 27).
This verses above were memorized by another missionary I admired, Elisabeth Elliot. She, along with nine others, went into the jungles of Ecuador and reached out to those who had never heard the Gospel. Her faith is held up as a banner for those who faced difficulty and loss, yet still sought the face of God.
Best Beloved, do you find your arms weighed down by the strain and struggle of the world today? Are you feeling like you cannot go forward on your faith journey? Join me in crying out. Cry out to God. Seek His face, lean on Him, hold out your arms to Him and let Him pick you up and hold you.
Be brave, strong, and courageous, do not afraid or discouraged: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).
Sending love to you today and always,