Family Grace
By Shawnelle Eliasen

God's Comfort and Protection

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.

He’s safe.

Unafraid.

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.

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Your Comments (19)

I am amazed at the beauty of this story and how it reminds me of a song my husband wrote about our grandson being afraid of the dark. The Lord has given him a talent to write songs and we would love to share it with you. Let me know if we can send it to you.

What a precious story of the love of parents and the comparison of the love of our Father God. It brings back great memories how I cuddled our kids when they were afraid and the many times I was afraid and God cuddled me when I was so far away from home on my job.

Mmmm. Precious. Being held by the Lord and feeling the grace of that safety. Precious, too, holding our children, feeling their beating hearts, the sweet rhythm of sleep. Such goodness in that! Thank you for sharing, Wanda.

How beautifully expressed -- thank you. I struggle with sleeping after a trying day when fear and anxiety creep into my thoughts. That's when I curl up, snuggle against the pillow, and envision that I have crawled into His arms and he is holding me safe. Most nights I then drift off into peaceful sleep, just as your son did. We all need that sense of comfort at times...

Oh Phyllis, thank you for sharing. What a beautiful thing, to picture ourselves in His arms. I will try that the next time I'm having a tough night. Precious. Thank you! (prayers for a restful, in-His-arms night for you tonight...)

Sounds like you have a very happy life now, and you are creating memories that will last a life time.

Thank you, Florence. We are grateful for many good things. Oh, sweet memories. What a treasure...

I too look to the cradling arms of our comforter. Many a nights- the fears of being alone with no helper, no warming touch nor a distant wisper can play greatly into our very beings. As a single man in my early 50's having not fathered a child has tremendously brought about a certain closeness to my Heavenly Father. There is a peace in which the bond of unity has developed.

Thank you, Mark, for sharing. What a beautiful thing - looking to the cradling arms of our comforter. Such power and kindness there. I've had some tough times this year - and those arms have been the only place of peace. Praise the Lord for holding us close!I'm so thankful...

Love this story! My youngest quite often ends up in our bed by one way or another! I must say I love the snuggle time with him. I cherish these moments, for I know that won't last long. Thanks for sharing!

Oh, I understand. Thank you for sharing. These are precious moments and they pass all too soon. Sweet times, when they're nestled in our arms. Wish these times would stretch a bit longer!

You always give me peace & comfort, those boys are so lucky to have the protection from You, Lonny & The Lord!

Yes, D Marie! Thank you. That protection is a precious thing. I'm learning to rely on it more and more as the boys stretch and grow(then I grow, too... smile)

What a beautiful post! Love your writing!

Thank you! I'm grateful for the encouragement!

So sweet! Thanks for the reminder!

Thank you, Kerry. So glad to hear from you!

Shawnelle, it's so lovely to see you protect and comfort your dear sons, the way the Lord protects and comforts us. What a lovely responsibility. So happy to see you blogging here!

Thanks, Peggy. You're right. Offering comfort, and receiving it, are precious things. God's goodness! (Thx for the encouragement, too)