“…Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33:12 (NIV)
Sticking his tiny hands up in the air, my toddler son would look at me and say “Hold you!” That was his clue that he wanted up. He knew that when he was up in my arms he could see more, go more, and do more. I loved having Zach there, right close to my chest, but my reasons were much different than Zach’s. I wanted him there because it was in my arms that he was closest to my heart.
Little children don’t stay in their parent’s arms for long though. Their time as toddlers goes quickly and as parents, one of our goals is to teach our children how to be independent so that one day they will go out on their own; at least we hope they will! (Zach is now eighteen so that time for us is closer than ever!)
As our parent, Father God’s parental goals are just the opposite of our’s. He says in Deuteronomy 33:12 that like our children with us, we can rest secure in our Father. We are protected all day long by Him and, just like us, what He loves is for us to rest between His shoulders. What is found between His shoulders? His heart. That is where He wants us to be, next to His heart, all day long. He wants us close to Him so He can speak to us and show us His affection.
Unlike us, Father God doesn’t want us to grow independent. In fact, this is where there is a complete reversal in our parenting styles. You see, as a believer, Father God wants us to grow more and more dependent on Him. He wants us to learn that His love for us is so strong and so perfect, that the place where we are most rested, safe and secure is in His arms and in His care. The more mature we become; the more aware we become. Aware that when we are dependent on Him we are strong and there is where we are suppose to be.
Our part is to get comfortable there. When Zach was little, he was anxious to get up but then all too quickly, he was anxious to get down! He would decide that although it was good to be with me for awhile, he also loved to do things by himself. In fact, his other favorite phrase was “by self”!
Can you see how we do the same with our Father? We just get learning that dependence on Him is a good thing, but it’s the whole control thing that soon starts driving us crazy. Not knowing where we are going or what He will do next makes us uncomfortable so we begin to squirm and wiggle until we are once again down on the ground doing it our own way. Dependence is a hard thing to learn.
Father, help us to say “hold you” and once we are exactly where we need to be, help us to settle in and learn that next to Your heart is where we need to stay!