A Day Late, but Counting the Ways He Loves, Even When I Am Afraid

Why am I always flapping wings so fast, like a scared, frantic little bird, beating hard and furious against doors, sills, glass, and ceilings that hold me in? my heart beating wild with fear, I cannot see or think straight…cannot alert myself to the right path.

All I know is that i do not want to be trapped and I am afraid. I am so tossed and confused, weary and exhausted from trying to figure things out, from being angry and hurt. Is all of this trying to figure things out on my own, all of this fear and torment, all of this anxiety over decisions…is that what is making me so exhausted?

And then it hits me full: all this time I have wasted being afraid…afraid of what others think, afraid they are trying to hurt me, afraid that I will somehow fail at everything and I will never be the loving wife and mother that I desperately need and want to be, that my family needs me to be. And it has all been wasted, because I did not need to be afraid, and if I could only calm and go steady, I would see that He made a way out for me to fly through a slightly open door, if only I would still enough to see it. And this slight ajar door is His grace, and He is waiting for me to fling it wide open and fly through.

But I know that He is asking me to allow Him to calm the wild beating heart, quiet the fear and furious flapping wings, and guide me steady.

And I know now that He has brought me to this place where I am beating against the walls, the glass, the sills, the ceiling, and His chest. I am angry and hurt and He has brought me here for a purpose. I feel trapped, but He only wants me to see that I am sheltered, that I am loved, that He is shepharding me, guiding me, cradling me, and yes, even healing me. When I was going through hellish torment, when I felt within myself that I had no strength and could not go on, and had nothing left to give…when I had almost given up, He picked me up and gently, gently rocked me.

he gently and most kindly spoke to me, like a mother whispering next to baby-soft skin, “Shh…It’s alright…don’t worry…just let me take care of you.”

Rocking, rocking like swaying trees, making the sun show itself in the morning, saying, “It’s okay to wake and get out of bed and start the day–my grace will cover you.” And the light warms my face and I work… And He is always there in the breeze while I work, rocking me, gently rocking, saying, “This is good…my creation all for you, and yes, I made it for you so that you could work and see the richness right there at your fingertips..so that you find rest and listen to the song I have made for you…and it is good.”

And I listen to the song…the birds singing, cheerful in their work…the crickets, a chorus of quiet rest…and still, even right now, He is rocking, gently rocking. The bees furiously flutter at lightening speed and defying gravity, they hover and lean over into a flower’s sweetness. Wings beat, taking off in flight overhead, reminding me, teaching me to soar, saying, “Get up, weary one…test out your wings…don’t be afraid!”

And I know that He made all of this for me…each moon dance, each cotton candy puffed sky, …and He is rocking, and I am enfolded and held…

but I find no satisfaction in holding onto only this…in this I find no deepest joy in me…not in simply taking in things He has given and being satisfied in myself… no, it is not about me… this is what it is about:

His glory is all around.
It is filling, it is overwhelming, it is obvious… and it is looming, and rocking me, gently rocking. And if I do not take part—if I do not let go of me—then I will flap and thrash against the sills and glass and ceilings and I will surely die. In me, there is no hope, no grandness, no goodness, and certainly no glory….there is only fear, confusion, and utter depravity.

But when I find him, when I take in HIM, I find truest joy and this…When I hide myself in His shelter, I will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He will clothe me in His wings, wrap me, surround me in Himself. I will never want, I will never be weary, I will not be afraid, and I will not die, not really, for I will always be with Him.

My life, and all that I am and who I am is hidden THERE…it is hidden in those WINGS, like a mother covering, wrapping arms around, rocking, gently rocking, and like a father, protecting and shielding with strong arms and a wise brow.

He is this kind and gentle, loving, protecting parent…I find myself, my truest self, and my truest joy when I lose myself and get wrapped up in Him, in His wings of love, in His mightiness, and He rocks me gently, rocking in those mighty oak hands, like a mother swinging a baby, the baby looking up at her laughing, her eyes alight with trust that she will not fall.

His wings beat against the darkness that would consume me and take me down into it’s pit, and furiously thrash and drive back the pestilence that would eat and destroy.

You nor I have ever seen such wings as these…they are mightier than a lion’s jaw and the wings of 10,000 angels could not compare to their size. If He created the mother bird to beat her wings and fly against predators for her young, how much more will He conquer and protect for me? He has already done it.

“For if by the trespass of the One Man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through that one man, Jesus Christ.” (Rom.5:17)

“He who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? …Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom.8:32,35,37-39)

#98 that mighty God can calm this frantic heart

#99 halos of warm sun atop soft glistening wheat hair

#100 the maple tree…in bloom with snowy white against the blue spring sky

#101 girls swinging happy and free, like God swinging and rocking

#102 the trust i see in my littlest one’s eyes as i swing her, and how i realize that this is how God feels about me

#103 the truth of His grace pouring over me, if i only stop thrashing and fly through the open door

#104 how i get there doesn’t matter…it’s just the receiving of His grace

#105 little one’s tongue stuck out in pure delight

#106 how laughter and large glowing baby smiles feels like the weight of God’s glory

#107 if living in the light of His glory feels this great, then Lord, may i always dwell here…

#108 that He is healing me, He is cradling me, and rocking, rocking so gently

#109 that tomorrow is another day, His mercies are new every morning, and i can always start over again with a fresh outpouring of grace

#110 for new friends and brothers and sisters in Christ that have graced our home and brought us the joy of fellowship

#111 my Savior, who made it all possible through his sacrifice–without Him i am lost, but with Him i am at peace and unafraid