July 31, 2020 · by Whitney Gothra

Some of the best lessons I have learned about God have been taught to me by my children.

My two-year-old has never been a cuddler. She has never been one to be content on my lap or in my arms. She actually would prefer not to be touched or bothered, thank you very much! If you invade her personal space, she’ll swing her tiny little arms, palms out, and say, “No, no, no,” as she backs away. She was born craving independence.

But when she is sick, she wants nothing else but to be held. She’ll walk to me, sniffing and rubbing her eyes, and then dive headfirst into my legs. She’ll raise her little arms and say, “Shoe, Mama!” (Which translates to “Hold you, Mama,” which means “Hold me, Mama” -- which makes my heart melt.). She’ll nestle her head right into my neck, tuck her arms in, and rest.

As much as I hate her being sick, the time spent cuddling my little whirlwind is priceless. I delight in being the one she turns to. As I dry her tears and wipe her nose, I cling to her, knowing that soon she’ll be better and wiggle out of my embrace.

As much as she likes to push my arms away, when she is in need she knows where to turn.

I find it so beautiful that out of all the ways He could relate to humanity, God chose to portray Himself as the Father and we as His children. Just as I delight when my hurting baby runs to me when she needs comfort, I know that He must feel delight when we come running to Him. As a Father, His arms are always open for us to be held when we are at our lowest or when our needs are beyond our capabilities.

But how much more would it mean if we stayed close to Him even when we didn’t feel like we “needed” Him? If we stopped trying to slip out of His embrace when our needs were met? If we stopped trying to do everything so independently with palms out, clearing our own ways?

What would happen if we stayed in His arms? What would happen if we clung to Him long after our wounds were healed or our questions were answered? Would the sound of His heartbeat become louder than ours? Wrapped in His arms, we would have no choice but to stay still when He’s still and to move when He moves. We wouldn’t have to fight to clear our own path if His feet were the ones doing the walking.

Deuteronomy 33:27 says, “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

Today I’m running into those everlasting arms.

Whitney Gothra

About Whitney Gothra

Whitney Gothra and her husband Timothy have been married for around fifteen years, and they have three sweet and spicy girls, Ruby, Selah, and Marigold. They pastor the Apostolic Church of Wabash in Wabash, Indiana. You can connect with her on Instagram @theflourishstudio or online at whitneygothra.com.