I can just see the dusty streets of Capernaum that day, filled with the happy shouts of frolicking children when Jesus called out to one of them. The child stopped his play and seeing the smiling face of the Master he gladly ran, dusty tunic streaming behind him while his dirty little bare feet carried him straight into the arms of this Man.

He felt himself being scooped up, and a ripple of laughter escaped his little mouth and was matched by Jesus’ as those Carpenter fingers tickled him under his chin. Jesus held him close, carrying him into the center of the little group of disciples that had assembled and sat down with the little boy on His lap. His strong arm wrapped warmly around his waist, and His big hand held the little hand so tenderly. The boy leaned his dark curly head adoringly against Jesus, relaxed by the sound of Jesus’ resonate voice and the throb of His heartbeat in his ears.

august-748.jpgI like to imagine myself as that child, held securely in the strong arms of Jesus. Nothing to distract me because I’m sitting in Jesus’ lap. My hand being held in His strong hand—so big that it doesn’t matter if I’m trying to hold it or not because He has it until He lets go. Surrounded by peace and safety, relaxed and soothed by His gentle voice.

And though I’m not the romping, dirty little mophead in Capernaum, I am a child just the same. Deep inside there’s the romping little girl that hears the Father’s voice, and finds the solitude of leaving everything just to sit on Daddy’s lap, knowing she’s loved. Deep inside there’s the terrified little girl that seeks the comfort of the Father when she hurts, and there He is, waiting to kiss and hug the grief away. Deep inside there’s the scared trembling little girl that must feel a warm embrace, when through the darkness of the long night the big strong arms reach out and hold her close, emanating peace and serenity to her troubled heart. Deep inside there’s the wayward little girl that learns it doesn’t matter if she lets go of His hand, because His nail-scarred Carpenter’s hand never lets go, but keeps her close to His side.

Indeed the little girl in me will never grow up, for the true place of rest is in the arms of Abba Father.