Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Arms Wide Open

Ezra's face lit up into a smile, she jumped to her feet, spread out her arms widely and ran to me. She buried her face into the crock of my neck and I breathed deeply, it was a moment of delight. The reckless abandon of my child's embrace is a picture of the way I want to live, in trust and surrender to God.

When I think of this kind of love, I am reminded of a woman I met during our years in Germany. She gave me a vivid view of the strength that comes from trusting in the Lord.

As I stood at the edge of the ICU entrance, I waited, as my friend spoke her final earthly words to her beloved husband. The day before her husband experienced a brain hemorrhage, from which he would not awaken. By the waiting room, I stood rooted to the floor as I watched the elevator doors open to reveal my friend's five children huddled together. Their mother came through the ICU doors and knelt to the ground. Although her petite frame looked frail, the width of her arms seemed boundless, as she tenderly reached out to encircle them. They fell into their mother's embrace and sobbed, as she was strengthened by the presence of her Savior.

During her husband’s funeral my friend’s lovely soprano voice enveloped the listening crowd. She sang these words written by Horatio G. Spafford:

"No pang shall be mine, for death as in life

Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

It is well, with my soul,

It is well, it is well, with my soul."

To surrender to the One who chose to commit the ultimate act of selflessness by stretching out his arms on the cross, is to overcome. Today and for all eternity, God is with you; he is waiting with arms wide open.