Friday, September 30, 2022

 The Chest 

This morning in my quiet time, my eyes fell on a verse from Deuteronomy that jumped out at me  and I knew the Lord wanted to tell me something about it. 
Immediately,  the memory of a childhood experience flashed into my mind. 

This experience happened when I was,  between one and two years old,. I lived with my parents on a small hobby farm. Every morning my Mom would have to go outside to do the chores, meaning she had to leave me in the house alone. Wanting  to ensure I would be safe and out of trouble, every morning before she went outside she would lift me onto a rounded top wooden chest that stood under the kitchen  window.   Sitting on this chest I could watch her walk away and then wait to see her coming back to the house. 

When my mother came home she would lift me off the chest and our day would continue. Then one day  that all changed. 

That morning my mother , as usual, lifted me onto the chest and I watched out the window.   When she came back inside I lifted my arms anticipating that she would, as always, lift me off the chest.  But she didn't.  Instead she turned my on my stomach over the rounded chest lid and stepped away, telling me to slide off. 
I was confused and started to cry, looking at my mom, expecting her to recognize my fear and lift me off the chest..   But she didn't! Terror filled my heart as only a child can feel terror and I continued to cry.  Looking into my Mom's face, I saw she was not concerned at all..  She just stood there without moving, a smirk on her face. watching me.  I can see her face as clearly today as I did those many many years ago.  I could not understand why she would not help me !  I had never considered that there would be a time I needed help and my mother would refuse to help me. 
I clung desperately to the top of the chest, resisting the pull of gravity threatening my tenuous hold, but my little hands were getting tired and I knew I could not hold on for much longer. 
Finally, the inevitable happened !  I felt my hands slipping and I knew something terrible was about to happen!   But then .... 

My hands gave way... I slipped .... and to my shock my feet hit the floor.  The whole time my feet had been no more than three inches from the floor.  
I was not an adventurous child and my mother wanted to teach me how easy it was for me to slide off the chest - that I no longer needed to be lifted off !   The memory stayed clear in my mind along with a feeling of confusion that my Mom had not been willing to help me when I was so desperately afraid. 

As I relived this childhood experience, I saw a mind picture that showed me how Jesus would have responded had He been there.  Even though my Mom was a loving Mom and did nothing wrong ... if Jesus had been there He would not have stood watching my terror with a smirk on His face knowing that I was going to be just fine  and would learn something valuable from the experience. 

No...  He would have bent over the chest beside me, and with one arm over me whispered in my ear ... "It's okay, I'm here, let's just slide down together!" 

Difficult or painful times come to all of us - it is part of life. We so often feel that inner terror as we desperately cling to our 'chest' - looking to whomever we trust to help us and see they are not willing or able to help. We are alone...and we know that  we cannot hold on much longer. We can feel everything slipping away and our cries for help go unheard.   

God wants us to know that no matter how terrifying life circumstances may be, He will never stand by and just watch -- even though He knows He has it all in hand.  He will always be close, sharing in our pain. And always, beneath us - no more than three inches - are the everlasting arms that will catch us and hold us close to His heart!