Amplify | Secure in Everlasting Arms
Summer is a time for town carnivals, local county fairs and trips to Valley Fair. Those cotton candy-induced sugar-coma days would be lacking if not for carnival rides and roller coasters. There is nothing like the breath-stealing thrill of your stomach dropping to your toes as the roller coaster drops over that first hill and spins sideways. I’ve enjoyed my share of rollercoasters, but never with the uninhibited freedom to throw my hands in the air as the coaster plummeted. No, adrenaline would hit me in the face as I clutched the safety bar holding my body in the car. I have enough fear of not being in control that I don’t fully trust the work of the engineers who designed the thrill ride. I am convinced that if I let go, I will slide to a precarious position if not fall out altogether.
Life is often like a rollercoaster; it has its ups and it has its downs. Unlike a rollercoaster, the downs are usually far less thrilling, though they too can completely take your breath away. Two years ago, the breath was sucked out of me as I watched my father take his last breath. There was relief that he no longer suffered from cancer’s ravages and joy that he was experiencing the ultimate joy, but also intense grief that the earthly father who had always made me feel secure was no longer there. There is just something about the hug of a father that communicates affection, shelter, and safety. My dad spent long hours in the fields and barn tending to his work as a farmer, but he was always there. I felt secure in his love, knowing that he was near; if I needed him, he would be there.
“You are loved with an everlasting love and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
Even before my dad passed away I began to realize that perhaps I had leaned more on the security that came from my earthly father than I did in trusting my Heavenly Father. I knew he was trustworthy in my head, but it was another thing to put feet to that truth and let it lead my life. Did I trust the Engineer of my life, of all of creation? Could I throw my hands up to catch the wind and trust that I wouldn’t fall? It seems silly to even ask such questions. I know God’s promises inside and out, but is that enough?
If we focus only on God’s promises, but aren’t seeing those promises fulfilled in our immediate suffering, we become disenchanted, believing that those promises are for someone else. God’s promises alone don’t comfort and bring us security, rather it is the Father himself where the answer to our insecurities lies. God’s promises for mercy and grace come from the very nature of his character. Take for instance these few examples:
He is wise – “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).
He is perfect - “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he” (Deuteronomy 32:4).
He supplies all our needs - "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
He is faithful – “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. . . (Deuteronomy 7:9).
He is merciful - "But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy. . . (Titus 3:4-5a ).
It is in the life, death and resurrection of His own Son, Jesus, where we find our assurance. Romans 8:32 reminds us, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” The comfort is not that God promises to “give us all things,” security is found in the life-giving truth that God has already given us all that we need in Jesus’ death on the cross in our place. We can rest in the truth of being held securely in love because Christ willingly laid down his life for us to be reconciled to God when there was nothing loveable about us.
Just as I found security in my relationship with my earthly father and the knowledge that he was near, our heavenly Father is the same. Even when our feelings lie to us, saying that He has somehow forgotten about our plight, the truth is that He reconciled us to himself through Jesus. He is there; he is there tending to the work of keeping all things spinning in motion. He is there working all things for our good even when it doesn’t feel like it to us. I love this quote by Elizabeth Elliot, “You are loved with an everlasting love and underneath are the everlasting arms”. He is holding us secure in his faithful and everlasting arms. We need only to trust our Father, throw up our arms and enjoy the ride.
Heidi is a thirty-something farm girl making her home near the heart of the city with her husband Adam and their four children. When she isn’t busy with her job as wife and mom, she enjoys football, walks with her family, a strong cup of coffee and a good read. Heidi has been a part of Sovereign Grace Church for 12 years and has enjoyed serving in numerous capacities.
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