The everlasting arms

I don't understand Him, but then I'm not asked to understand, only to trust. Bitterness dissolves when I remember the kind of love with which He has loved me--He gave Himself for me. He gave Himself for me. He gave Himself for me. Whatever He is doing now, therefore, is not cause for bitterness. It has to be designed for good, because He loved me and gave Himself for me.
~ Elisabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart

What unbounded joy to discover that, in all things, in all ways, in all states of emotion, you are held by Him. I have discovered this in layers throughout my life, and I always reach a new layer of realization when I am tested and tried. When my body is broken and my mind realizes that I am no longer able to cope without help, there are those everlasting arms, under me, over me, comforting me and lifting me up. "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. Deut. 33:27) I serve an eternal, awesome, righteous, fierce, loving, tender, just God. Why do I forget this in the bustle of everyday life? I praise God for slowing me down through this season to realize anew the depth and breadth of His love and care for me. How can I doubt Him, Who gave Himself for me??

Last night was a night filled with grief and a constant yearning that this trial might be lifted (irrational, I know, but that is how I get at 3 in the morning!). Caleb is easily giving up nursing during the day, although he seems to prefer starving to drinking the goats milk! He drinks about 2 oz. at a time, with much effort on my part. At night, however, it is a different story. He literally screams and thrashes when the bottle is put in his mouth, and nuzzles my breast, begging to nurse. I think part of the problem is that he wants comfort, not food. He was up much of the night last night as I had resolved to nurse him only three times. I believe it will be easier on him in the long run if I slowly decrease the number of nursings at night, rather than suddenly cutting him off completely. I was up with him from midnight until 5:30 a.m., although Aaron did try for a while around 2 a.m. Nothing would satisfy him. As newborn babes, crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby... (I Peter 2:2) It is difficult enough to trust God with my own life, to willingly hand myself over, without proviso. Handing over my children is that "new level" of trust; it brings out the "mama bear" in me, and it is a lesson in self-control and a test of my will to ask me to do this. What possible good can come from weaning Caleb - for Caleb? For five years, as a nursing mother, I have been asked to lay myself down continually and put my children's needs first. I said goodbye to long walks alone, spending more than 2 hours alone with my husband, going anywhere or doing anything without these little bodies attached to me. I learned the lesson, and it is part of who I am now. And now God asks me to hand it back! It reminds me so much of the child-training I do every day - ask the child to do something (sometimes innane) to test where their will is at, then say, "O.K.! Good job! Now we're done with that and we're going to move on to this!" But what about little Caleb? I can give nursing back. I will mourn it, without a doubt. But I am willing. But what about my dear son, God - please tell me you've thought about him, too!

I must quiet my heart. Yes, He loves me. He gave Himself for me. He gave Himself for Caleb. He has our best in mind. Whatever ill in this world wounds me unspeakably, He will heal for eternity in heaven. And I fall on the everlasting arms again, exhausted today from the struggles of the night. But at peace; safe; comforted.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. ~ Galatians 2:20