Embraced

Cross

He put a child in the middle of the room. Then, cradling the little one in his arms, he said, “Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me—God who sent me.” Mark 9:36-37 (MSG)

I longed to hug my kids.  We were picking them up from a week-long camp at Lake Waccamaw in NC. We had not talked to them all week, and we could not wait to hear all about it at Family night.

As we waited in the sanctuary, one by one the children walked in and filled the remaining pews. They turned to face us and their tender hearts poured out in worship. My heart exploded. With just a guitar playing, they swayed with arms raised singing “How Can It Be?” by Lauren Daigle.

As they started to pass out awards, my youngest wanted to go outside and get some air.  As we stepped out onto the dock, I sensed the need to head back inside.  As I made my way back in my husband said, “Morgan is next.” So, I grabbed my phone thinking she was going to sing or perform and she stepped up to the microphone to announce that she had accepted Christ that day.  I was able to capture that quick moment on video.

Be still my heart.  July 3, 2015

I rejoiced at the faithfulness of God. I could not wait to hug her!  But, I would have to wait a little longer as the pastor came up to share closing thoughts.

He started with a recap of the week, and then he had a message just for the parents.

He gave us the illustration of an orange seed, and how it is so important to make sure that orange seeds are planted in a thriving environment in order to have the best oranges possible.

You can have the best orange seed ever – but it needs warmth and good soil, and sunshine.  If you take away the good environment and place that best orange seed elsewhere it will not be the orange it was intended to be.

He stressed that it is the same for children. They are gifts and they are precious, but we have to make sure they are in the environment that allows them to be all that God has designed them to be.

{At this point I am holding my breath, and while I wished I had recorded this on my phone – I simply could not move.}

He stepped away from the podium and came to the edge of the stage and looked at the audience again and reiterated that the Bible is very clear about how precious children are to Jesus. We should be taking good care of them and without going into details we should be warned about what the Bible says about harming children and causing them to sin:

If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Matthew 18:6 (NIV)

As he closed in prayer – my heart was pounding. I felt the presence of Jesus embracing the little girl in me who needed to hear those words long ago.

He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
    he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high. Luke 1:54 (MSG)

My daughter made her way through the crowd to me with her arms extended and we met with hugs and smiles. His love completely embraced us.  She whispered, “Mom, it rained!”

As we were leaving, I went back into the church and thanked the pastor for sharing that message and told him to please keep sharing it because kids and adults need to hear it.

I wish I had heard that message sooner.

I wish I had known sooner just how much Jesus loves me.

Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible-2Jesus loves you too. He knows. You are precious in His sight!

I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. Romans 8:38-39 (MSG)

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6 thoughts on “Embraced

  1. Such an encouraging message, Michelle. How your heart must have swelled to hear your daughter testify she accepted Jesus. I love the message of how precious children are to Jesus. I, too, needed to hear that as a child. A song like “Jesus Loves Me” wasn’t even allowed in the church I grew up in. But now, with you, my inner child will reach out and embrace that truth. 🙂 Thank you for this reminder today. As you said, we adults need to hear it, too.

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