I awake in His arms still. I am surprised to still be there.
“Get used to being in Your Father’s arms.” He replies to my unspoken thoughts.
I think on this for a long while. What does it mean to be in His arms?
“I did not send you out to go alone, be rather that I will go with you.” He explains. “I will hold your hand now that the stone “Not Enough” is gone.”
I see now how that stone prevented me from holding on to Him before. It stood as a wedge between me and His promises. I sigh, relieved that it is now gone. I lean my head against His shoulder; it is so restful here with Him. I am surprised to realize suddenly, I am not used to rest.
“I will give you what you are to do now. I want you to rest in Me even as you labor for Me.”
I have been working too hard with and for too little for son long. And there has been no rest. I wonder for a moment what would it be like to be used to this, for being in His arms to be the norm. How very different things would be.
I am beginning to understand a little. I rest again in His arms, trying to understand what it means being there. I think on holding my son in my arms. Where I go, he goes. His relationship to me is clear to all who see. From that place, he can clearly hear and list to all I might have to ay. It is a place of affection from which I often whisper words of endearment to him. When I hold him he is in a place of safety, out of danger, protected. When my son is in my arms all I have is his and in his reach. His position with me is clear. He is watching where I am going, where I am taking him, not worried about how he is going to get there.
It is also a place of immediate correction, not so much of repentance, but of direction, a place I can softly speak direction to him. It is a place where he does not have to worry about being taken care of. It is clear that he will be.
I long to learn to rest and stay in His arms. But I feel myself becoming restless.
“Make a habit of staying here.” He whispers in my ear. I try to rest once more, and finally I do.
His peace overwhelms me and I find delight in His presence once more. “I cold be here always.” I sigh softly.
“No you could not.” He laughs, knowing my pension for activity over rest. “Do you know I delight in your company? This is what I made you for. Do not let others in true here.” He is quiet for a little while, but then continues. “There is a different perspective from here that I want you to see, set apart from selfishness, from your own needs. You can get here only because your need is met in me.”
“Forgive me my short-sightedness, my selfishness, Papa. I am indeed a selfish creature. Please forgive me.” I whisper, seeing the truth so clearly within me.
He nods silently. “Trust Me for the bigger picture, start to see from one step further back, the perspective from my arms is up higher and one step back from where you have been looking from.
“There is provision and abundance because you are here in My arms. You are doing because you are accepted by Me, not accepted because you are doing.”
He lets me think on all this a while before adding, “It is time to go back now.”
He helps me to my feet as He stands. We walk past each of the memorial stones: the crystal spray, the butterfly, the rose and now the wedding tent. I recall the meaning of each and try to hold on to it. In the light of the lantern we make our way back to the entrance. It is small enough that we will have to crawl through.
On hands and knees, there is no light in the space. He covers me as He did before as we crawl through into the long passage.
“Can one get lost here?” I ask, sheltered in His presence.
“Yes, that is why you must stay with Me.” He replies, His voice echoing off the close walls.
I wonder how someone would get lost, the passage seemed straight, but sheltered in Him, I guess there was more I did not see. The path seems different now than it was when we came in. I find rocks in the way, excruciatingly painful under my knees.
“Those block the pathway in.” He explains. “I swept them out of the way when we came in.”
“What are they?” I am bewildered.
“Self consciousness, embarrassment, fear, guilt. They are those things that keep you from coming into a place of worship.” He replies without condemnation.
“They hurt!” I exclaim in frustration as my knee lands directly on another stone. “Can I get rid of them?”
“Yes, you must intentionally sweep them away.”
I begin deliberately sweeping them aside with my hands, clearing a path to crawl through. My efforts though are imperfect and I am painfully aware that miss a few.
“Each time you come here, you must do that to prevent distractions that will keep you away.” He warns as we continue the long crawl out of the cave.
My knees are pretty battered by the time we come to the end of the passage way. I find it difficult to stand even as I blink my eyes in the light, trying to adjust to the brightness outside the crawl space. The pain in my knees screams at me until I cannot ignore it. I remember His earlier admonition to me.
“Papa, my knees…” I whisper, still a bit afraid to expose my wounds to Him.
He turns to look at them. I can see they are bruised and bloody. “These are wounds from criticism, old and new and even criticism of yourself. Your worship is a gift to others even as it is a gift to Me. You have wounds that often prevent you from going there. Let Me heal you.”
“Yes Papa! Here? Now?”
“No,” His voice is gentle with me, “we need to leave this space first.”