Nestling Closer

chicken

I remember walking in the grocery store with our daughter when she was just a little thing, wrapping my arm around her like a momma hen while she pushed the cart with me. I knew it made her feel like such a big girl to help, and I loved keeping her close and protecting her.

As the years went by, she got taller and we’d laugh at how she could tuck herself under my arm when she stood right by my side. I loved squeezing her as she snuggled closer, making her laugh, and feeling her close. We could whisper and share inside jokes no one else would understand.

But eventually she got too tall to fit under my arm, and she got too old (as teenagers sometimes do) to want to do such a thing.

Honestly, it made me a little sad.

I wonder if that’s how God feels when He wants to hold us close and tuck us under His arm, but we pull away. Is it because we’re too grown up in our thinking to do such a thing? Do we feel like we can handle things, we don’t need Him, or we’ve just outgrown our need for Him, our desire to have a close relationship with Him?

But what if God wants to pull us to His side to protect us from running ahead of Him when it’s not safe. Or maybe He’s trying to draw us closer so we don’t trip by turning around to look back at our past.

When God holds us, when He holds you close to His side and sings over you while you nestle closer, singing praises to Him, perhaps that is when your songs intertwine as a single, lovely song, just between the two of you; something so personal and deep the world and all that’s in it can’t touch or change a single note.

And the truth is, we need that closeness with God. We need our Heavenly Father to hold us close, to heal our brokenness, and to teach us to sing when our hearts have forgotten our song. We will always need Him to protect us, to be the safe place we don’t just run to but the safe place we reside and thrive in.

When God pulls us close to His side, my friend, we can pull away. But why would we ever want to do such a thing?

“How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37b NIV.)

“Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” (Psalm 63:7-8 NIV.)

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17 NIV.)