Never hold on to anything tighter than you're holding on to God.
- submitted by Jeffrey DeMenna
I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid. (Leviticus 26:6)
The voice at the end of my bed is barely a whisper. “Mama,” Isaiah says. “I had a bad dream.”
I move from the cocoon of my husband’s arms. “Zay,” I say. “Come on up.”
Isaiah crawls from the bottom of the bed, over a mountain of winter covers, and slips in between Lonny and me. I can feel, in the dark, that he’s wearing the flannel Superman pajamas. The ones that are thin in the knees. I can feel, too, that Isaiah’s brought Mine-O-Mine, the best-friend blanket he’s had since birth. I wrap my arms around my boy, and he curls into me. His head fits under my chin and his fingers lace through mine.
I listen to him breathe.
In just a few moments, Isaiah is relaxed. I feel the fear leave him. His breath becomes a peaceful song. His chest rises and falls with rhythm. Lonny moves closer and his arm curves over us both.
And Isaiah is settled.
We lie in the dark, Lonny and I curved like parenthesis around our son, and I think about Isaiah’s night visit. I understand what’s happened because this is how I often go to the Lord. I’m afraid. I’m worried. Life makes me feel like I’m alone in the dark. But my Father is faithful to draw me to His Word. He speaks to me in a way that is tender and personal and so full of life that it feels as though He’s pulling me in. It’s as though He’s saying, “Come on up, Daughter. I’m here. Find peace and rest in my arms.”
And I move to that place of safety.
And the darkness no longer holds threat.
Isaiah shifts and moves and now his face is toward me. I kiss his soft cheek. We won’t see a sliver of sun for a few hours, and soon I’m falling asleep, too.
But as I drift, I hold warm thoughts of God’s comfort, His protection, and the sweet blessing of finding rest.
Thank you, Lord, for bringing comfort when I’m afraid. Amen.
Shawnelle Eliasen and her husband Lonny have been married for twenty-five years. They have five sons and raise their bevy of boys in an old Victorian near the Illinois banks of the Mississippi River. Their sons, Logan, Grant, Samuel, Gabriel, and Isaiah, range in age from twenty-one to six with Shawnelle home teaching the youngest three.
Shawnelle has been writing for six years, contributing regularly to Guideposts magazine, Daily Guideposts devotional and other inspirational publications. She would say that life with her men moves faithfully, on fast forward. But it’s her heart’s desire, her passionate prayer, to see God’s goodness and glory in the fullness of her days. She longs to see Him in the unexpected moments, unexpected places, changing the ordinary to extraordinary and bringing quiet, sustaining grace.