Sunday, June 19, 2011

Everlasting Arms

Ward & Cari 1971

Today I am thinking about my dad. He went ahead to be with Jesus 16 years ago this Spring. I remember his artful skill as a conversationalist. I remember his generosity and his wisdom. I remember his perfectly straight, really white teeth. (He should’ve done commercials, or something!) But my most vivid memory, even after all this time, is of his arms.

When I was young, he would flex his forearm and slightly twist his wrist, to prove the whole “Pop-Eye’s spinach” theory. I also remember how he would lean back against the pillows of his bed to read. As he held a book with one hand, he would stretch his other back to rest behind his head.

As a little girl, I would climb up onto his bed, lie beside him, and rest my head on his folded arm. He would continue reading, and every once in a while, as he brought his hand forward to turn a page, he would gently brush the hair away from my face. With my ear pressed against the front of his shoulder, I could almost hear every beat of his loving heart.

Today, the mere memory of that warmth reinforces me with confidence, and security.
I am grateful that, while on earth, my dad could communicate to me a glimpse of peace and security that our heavenly Father offers forever.

Deut. 33: 27 says, “The eternal God is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…” and Isaiah 40 says, “He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to his heart…”

Can’t you hear the first few lines of that great hymn?
“What a fellowship,
what a joy divine...
what a blessedness,
what a peace is mine,
leaning on the everlasting arms.”

Thank You God for Dad. I'm a tiny bit jealous that you guys get to hang out while I finish this journey strong. Thank You for blessing MY children with a dad who loves tenderly, encourages confidently, and protects securely. You are a faithful Father - a perfect example - and I love you deeply for never changing and never leaving. Leaning on You...