Last night was one of those nights. I’m sure you’ve had them too. The nights where for some reason you are not able to sleep the whole night. For me it involved kids awake at different points of the night, not feeling well myself, and not being able to fall back asleep after being woken up by a small child. It was one of those nights where I would give anything to be asleep, but sleep wouldn’t come.
As I almost reached the point of sleep after lying awake for several hours, my littlest one woke up screaming – which is quite unusual for her. I got up to see what was wrong and picked her up to hold her. She immediately calmed down and snuggled in against my chest. I held her for a minute and then leaned over the crib to lay her back down. The screams started all over again. I picked her back up and laid down on the bed next to her crib with her cuddled in my arms. She settled back down and started to fall asleep again.
I laid there enjoying the cuddle time with my normally very active toddler while at the same time fighting exhaustion and weariness myself. After about thirty minutes, she finally gave in and fell asleep. As I gently laid her in the crib, I felt a bit of sadness. She was pushing teeth. She just needed the comfort of my arms – to know I was close. But I can’t hold her forever. My arms don’t have that capacity. As much as it would have been wonderful to hold her all night, I had to sleep. My body was weary.
As I walked away, I sensed the whisper of my loving God, “My arms don’t grow weary. As a parent, you get tired, worn out, exhausted. I don’t. I desire to hold you – and keep holding you. When you’re struggling, not feeling well, and exhausted, let My arms bring you comfort. Rest. Cuddle in. I don’t get tired. I love you. I want to renew your strength. I will also hold your little ones. I will take care of them too. Breathe. I love you. I will help you.”
As I finally drifted off to sleep, two different scriptures were running through my head.
Deuteronomy 33:27 AMP – “The eternal God is your refuge and dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He drove out the enemy from before you, And said, ‘Destroy!’
Is 40: 28-31 AMP – “Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become tired or grow weary;
There is no searching of His understanding.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who has no might He increases power.
Even youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
Will gain new strength and renew their power;
They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun];
They will run and not become weary,
They will walk and not grow tired.”
I love the picture of His everlasting arms. Everlasting. They don’t end. They don’t get tired.
As I lean on those arms, I receive fresh strength. Strength to get up in the morning. Strength to love my family. Strength to serve when I would rather snap. Strength to embrace someone else in their brokenness because I’ve experienced embrace. Strength to admit I’m broken. Strength to receive the healing I so desperately need. Strength to be His – to not have to prove I’m worthy or earn the time in His arms. Strength to believe I’m not an inconvenience wearing Him out. Strength to rest – and know that His arms are everlasting.