“…He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart…” – Isaiah 40:11
This snapshot. An image from our first full day in Embo. I can’t begin to describe the feelings that flood my heart and fill my mind when I see it. The smells. The sounds. The touch.
The sights… Children so full of joy. Smiles beaming. Reaching for hugs. So hungry for love.
I’ve been tired lately, I must admit. Sometimes life can get a bit hectic and overwhelming. It can seem like our schedules are running our lives, and we are mere pawns without control.
It’s in these places of near despair in my life when God reaches down and speaks to me most. In the past couple of days, I have heard Him so clearly.
I actually came down with a cold. And while I would never wish for it and would never hope for sickness, it’s in sickness when I find myself more able to rest – because well, there seems to be no other option. And it’s in these times of rest and quiet and still that I can hear God the most.
His voice is still and small. It comes in whispers. It even comes in the middle of the night. It comes for me on slow walks under His rising morning sun. I hear Him say, “I’m carrying you when you can no longer walk.” He speaks His reassuring truth that “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings of eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint.”
It’s when I am most tired, run down, and at the end of my rope when I truly feel God show up, pick me up, and carry me. Like I did with this sweet child in Africa. She was not feeling well. You could just tell. She was much more low key than all the other rowdy children. She just wanted to sit and snuggle.
And so I held her. And I walked with her. And I carried her. And cuddled her. And comforted her (the best I knew how to do.) And so does God with us. When we are tired and weak, He not only carries us, but it’s where He comforts us. And it’s in these places when we can no longer rely on our own strength that we are able to rely on His.
I don’t want to have to be sick to come to God and be still. I don’t want to have to be exhausted to allow Him to carry me.
My beautiful friend, Colleen, wrote an inspiring and truth-filled article called “the gift of illness.” Sounds odd, I know. But as you read these words, I guarantee your perspective will be gently stretched, and changed, and shifted to see that truly God does work together through all things for the good of those who love Him.
It’s in our sickness where we allow God to carry us and not rely on our own strength. It’s where we are forced to turn to Him. It’s where we grow closer to Him. It’s where we look to Him, turn to Him, and pray to Him most. It’s in our sickness when he holds us that we can hear the beating of His heart the most clear.
And unlike myself with the child in this photo, God does not grow tired or weary of holding us. My arms got tired, but His never will. I had to take her to sit down because my legs were weary. But His never are.
What sickness, feeling of tired, exhaustion, or despair are you carrying today? Allow God to pick you up and carry you through it.
“Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you.” – James 4:8
“Your hands will carry me now.” – All Things New, In Your Reach