Husband is cradling me in the black wee hours of the morning, as tears run hot and I pour out my fears, tell him that I can’t make it stop, that I can’t sleep. It is a frightening thing, to relapse, to feel Satan tug at me–hard–to meet my anxiety and fear head on and to admit it vulnerably even here.
To hear the mind-numbing static constantly running through my mind…to get no relief and to not understand why. And yet, there he is, aroused from sleep by the worried sob accidentally escaping from his wife's throat. And he is wrapping me in his love, his protection, his safe harbour. Here my worry can cease. He wipes it from my brow...whispers "it's okay", saving me from my dark pit.
Who am I to say that Christ's work on that rugged, cruel cross wasn’t enough—the cross where He was isolated from His Father, hated, beaten unrecognizable, and killed through a gruesome death? Who am I to say that He can't save me from this despair, worry and fear? I feel it through Husband's loving embrace--the Creator is pursuing me. I feel Him, relentless…He won’t stop until I give it all up--my doubts, my reasonings and trying to make sense of it-- until I know this fully—that He loves me.
And the God glory is especially heavy when my heart is heavy, weary, fearful, and when Husband cradles, skin to skin in the night, whispers in my ear that it is okay, that they are only lies from Satan and not to listen, gently smoothes my hair and touches his hand to my face even though he has to get up in the still-dark hours for work .
This is love. Sacrificial love.
When I hear and feel his heartbeat underneath, steady and alive, that strong chest receiving me like a child, it is then that I know that this is how God cradles me, how He holds me, how He soothes me, if I just lay and rest.
This is how God sees me…a child, afraid, but loved more than she knows, wrapped in grace and protection as a child is…as a wife is covered by her husband who loves her in the night.
This is what God wants me to know…He is my Father, and He loves me, and sees me through the blood of His Son…That Son that He gave, that Son that was the Word, that was with God, but took the punishment and received in Himself my sin so that the Father had to turn away...and that was the worst punishment...because in this sin-sick world, this world that shuns me and makes me feel bitter cold, I couldn't imagine having the only thing that always holds me up taken away from me--my Father's face. And Jesus giving that up for me reveals His powerful love for me.
And it is dawning, that this is the hard thanks that I wanted to learn. It is painful, aching, mind-reeling, and it threatens to break me, but it is these moments that I know His grace. It is these moments when I am afraid to pray, don’t know what to say, all balled up like a child inside, and His grace pours in, my husband holding me, soothing me, and it opens up His glory in varying hue and light–the splendor all around me–and there I am, lost…
and found in the shadow of the cross. In His love.
And this is where I learn to love...fully, with no regrets, no fear--knowing that God holds me and cradles me--no thought of self, or reward, forgiving and always hoping and believing the best--knowing that God is in control-- humble and patient--knowing that He gives more grace--and giving of myself. Fully giving of myself until He completely takes over, until there is nothing left of me, until I have served and loved and devoted my time and energy and I am all spent, even to the point of death, yes, even there I will go for love...to carry this love to others for the One who gave it all--even His life. And He desires nothing less.