My son has a favorite stuffed animal. It goes everywhere with him. In the car. To the store, the park, to Grandma's house. When he is scared or scrapes his knee, that stuffed animal is there to comfort him. He may need me too, but that little animal is what calms and soothes him. One look at this bedraggled stuffed animal and you know it is well loved; precious in the eyes of my little boy.
When my son fell the other day and hurt his arm, he reached for that animal, and it got me thinking. As adults, we don't have a favorite stuffed animal to comfort us (at least most of us don't-if you do, its ok! no judging here!). So, if not a stuffed animal, what do we cling to when we are scared or hurt? What do we reach for in the dark and lonely places? When everything around us seems foreign and chaotic, where do we turn?
Do we turn to worldly things? Or is Jesus our safe haven in the storm? And if in our fear, and in our tears, we turn to Him, what is it that we are looking for? Are we looking for peace, and comfort? Consider how a child chooses one stuffed animal they love above the rest. One they take with them EVERYWHERE and sleep with EVERY night, while many of their other stuffed animals are kept on the shelf or in a bin, brought out only once in a while. If I had given my son one of those other stuffed animals when he hurt his arm, would it have comforted him the same as his favorite one? No, it would not have. We make a similar choice with Jesus. Do we only take Him off the shelf on special days? Do we only want to admire Him from afar? Do we not want to "dirty" Him? We can then ask ourselves if we would find more comfort in a unknown or a known God? A known God of course! But in order to know God, we must have a relationship with Him! Luckily, Jesus is waiting for just that! He wants us to cling to Him in ALL moments. He wants to get dirty. He is ok with being pulled through the mud of our lives. He desires to be that "stuffed animal" we reach for in the dark. He wants to sit next to us while we expierence life's blessings, and then be there to provide peace when we need reassurance.
When we build a relationship with Him, what greater joy we will find in his embrace! How can we receive all He has to give us if we haven't built a relationship with Him to know what it is He is offering us?
So hold him tight. EVERYDAY. Through EVERYTHING. Put Him next to you in the car. Take Him to the store. Celebrate with Him. Cry with Him. Talk to Him and listen to Him. Grab Him in your fear. He CAN handle it.
Whatever is happening in your life, he can get you through it. You just need to take him off the shelf. Get Him a little dirty. He is longing be loved by you; tattered in your need for Him, matted in your trust. The comfort you will find will be far greater than that of anything in this world. And will be far grander than if you had kept him on that shelf.
"I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me." Proverbs 8:17
I would love to hear how you seek to keep Jesus close!!
Wife. Mother. Writer. Photographer. Child of God. Encouraging others in faith through a lens of grace and seeing beauty in the ashes.
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