Mark 10:16 – And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. (NIV)
On Sunday, at church, there were, in front of me, a mum, dad, and three girls. The smallest one clung to her dad's knee, so he bent down and picked her up. As she looked over his shoulder, she was flushed with the joy of her accomplishment. She smiled at the people in the rows behind as she hugged her dad close, secure in his arms and her success.
Next to dad was the second child, displaced by this interloper of a sister. Her eyes, unswerving, were transfixed as she looked at him longingly, as if to say, "What about me? Do not I get a hug too? Once that was my place!"
The father sang whilst nurturing the younger sibling in his arms. He was aware of those eyes burning at his side. He reached out with his hand, and, while smiling at her, returned her gaze. He stroked the child's cheek as if to say, "Do not worry, precious one. You know that I love you, and I know that you want to be up close here with me. Just for the moment, do not resent your sister's pleasure and love for me. Let her enjoy it now, even as you have done." The older sister was reassured and, somewhat reluctantly, turned away without a word being spoken.
A voice somewhere inside said, "You, also, do not resent the joy of others when it appears I hold them closer to me. One day they will have to take their turn at my side. I know your heart, and I know your deeds, so let go of your doubts, because I am with you, now and always. Have faith in my love for you."
With me, today, let go of the doubts, and remember our Father's love for us in Jesus.
James 4:7-8,10 – Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (NIV)
Prayer: Lord, come to us, and, by the blood of Jesus shed for us, cleanse us, bless us, and abide in us. As we believe in Jesus, your only Son, so we rejoice in your sacrificial love that allows us access to your throne. Lord, we believe that Jesus died to bring us close to you, so we ask that you will draw close to us. We rejoice that you will touch our inner doubts and fears by the power of the Holy Spirit today. Amen.