Everlasting Arms

I was in Arroyo Park last week. Sunshine filtered through the trees and ferns, revealing uncountable shades of green. I was struck again by wonder and amazement at what God has made. Like seeing  the stark beauty of the North Cascades on a clear day. Or looking out at the violet shades of the sunset sky over the Sound. These are amazing snapshots of God’s majesty.

Reminders of God’s sovereign power and majesty are good for my heart, but become worship when coupled with another even more life-altering truth: he loves me.

How could a God who makes wonders have even a single care for me? I am one of over seven billion people alive right now. I am not just insignificant in the grander scope of humanity, I’m sinful and imperfect and twisted. If I think about it too long, and apart from what God’s revealed in the Bible, I default to fear and guilt. I end up redoubling efforts to make myself more presentable, or I end up in despair.

He loves me. This is what I can’t see in the mountains or the sunset. His mighty hands have delivered me, in the arms outstretched at Calvary. The Son of God has come and shown me the love of God in his incredible sacrifice for me.

Isaiah 61:10 says “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness.” His salvation, his righteousness. Beautiful, majestic, powerful—and he loves me. Loves me in the gift of his own suffering and death to win me.

It is the love of my Savior on display that lets me—nay, compels me—to lean in. It is the good news of Jesus that assures me that God is for me, that his everlasting arms are holding me. My need is to trust in Jesus, in the gospel of who he is and how he loves me.

Over the past year or so we’ve had a hamster at our home. The first time we took her out of her safe environment and held her, she literally quivered in fear. Her heart was beating so fast it seemed like it would burst. Her nose twitched as her eyes darted to and fro. She was waiting for disaster to strike.

Little did she realize she was in safe arms. If only she would trust us! If only she would lean into the care that we have for her. We feed her. We pet her. We keep the cats away. We want only good for her. Instead of looking for a way to escape, if she would just trust in our care, then she could rest. She could lean in.

How much more strong and safe and loving is our God. Not only has he made us, not only does he provide for us, not only does he make a way to be with us, but also has clearly revealed his incredible love by becoming one of us.

So go ahead. Lean into the everlasting arms. Realize they are the arms of Jesus Christ. If you trust him, he will never let you go.

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