As a parent of two small children, I’m learning about God’s love in ways that were completely foreign to me prior to becoming a mother.
My 2.5-year-old son, Levi, says the most darling phrases. When he wants me to pick him up, he’ll whine, “I hold you, Mommy. Mommy, hold you!” sometimes through tears. For both Levi and my 1-year-old daughter, Alexia, being held by Mommy or Daddy can turn tears into smiles. Just like my children need me to cuddle them close to feel at peace, I need to feel our Heavenly Father’s embrace—to abide in Him.
And while Levi doesn’t think he’s saying anything profound, oftentimes he says, “I hold you, Mommy,” at a poignant time when I’m falling apart. It’s in these moments, I know God is speaking to me, reminding me how near He really is. He’s holding me.
It’s amazing that God, who created the entire universe, loves us enough to reach down and whisper to each one of us exactly what we need to hear at exactly the right moment. He knows what I need even when I don’t.
It was only recently that I realized how little I invested in listening to God. In Psalms 46, God instructs us: “Be still and know that I am God.” Like my toddler, I have a hard time being still. I have to be intentional about carving out time to stop multitasking and escape the distractions at home to even begin to be quiet enough to hear God’s whisper or feel His embrace. I don’t take time out to abide with God often enough. But when I’m in the midst of a challenge and am seeking God’s guidance, I find clarity and peace when I take the time to abide in Him. For me, I literally need to schedule time in my calendar for an abide walk and tell my husband my plans to keep me accountable. It’s then that I’m able to spend time with God, soak up His creation and just listen—after I turn off the music.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” -John 15:4
God will bless whatever time you carve out for Him. I’ve personally experienced God speaking to me through scripture, prayer, music, dreams, conversations and circumstances. When we’re in a constant state of being on the go, we may take the time to bring our worries to God in prayer, but are we taking the time to pause and patiently wait to hear His response?
I’m thankful that even when I’m acting like a toddler and miss what God is trying to say to me, He keeps repeating Himself—like I do with Levi when he refuses to put on shoes before heading out the door. I’m thankful that God will break through in a dream—of someone else if He has to—to relay an important message. I’m thankful that God wants to hold me just so that I know I’m loved.
Kindra LeFevre is Mike and Sally Breen’s executive assistant and blogs at www.forthelove.org.