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Carry Me, Dad... RUTH VALLEVIK


hen I was a young child, my pastor-dad served a four-point parish in North Dakota. Many Sunday nights I fell asleep in our car as we made the long, 50-mile trip back home from the last service. When we pulled into our driveway I would mumble, “Carry me, Dad…” And I cherish the tender memory of those strong arms lifting me and bringing me safely to my bed. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the depth of meaning in God’s word to his people in Isaiah 46:3-4, “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” When Dad carried me home, he gave me strength I didn’t have. Our Heavenly Father’s arms sometimes mean strength. We may be exhausted by the daily challenge of living as believers in a world opposed to his truth, we may be tired from the battle with our own sinful selves, or we may simply be physically drained from ministry. As we used to sing in Sunday School, “I am weak, but he is strong.” Have you ever noticed how a carried child often looks around confidently, interested in what is around her, seemingly unconcerned about noises, distractions, even dangers? She feels secure in those loving arms. Sometimes, God’s arms mean security. In John 10:28 Jesus says, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” We may be surrounded by dangers, both seen and unseen, but our trust is in the God who carries us. Did you ever wander thoughtlessly into the street, and your dad raced to grab 16

you out of harm’s way (and maybe his hands administered a little correction, also)? Sometimes God’s arms mean deliverance. King David declared, “This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles…” (Psalm 34:6). Perhaps we have disobeyed his truth, ignored his voice, fallen into temptation and endangered our souls. His arms mean rescue. When you hold your child, do you realize how often your hands are stroking him, giving him love and assurance? Sometimes God’s arms around us mean affection. Zephaniah 3:17 reads, “The Lord your God is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” And hear Isaiah again, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart…” (40:11). All of us long to be cherished, to be truly known, to belong – and his touch tells us so. Small children are often held when they have been hurt, or they’re sad or sick. Our grown-up hurts may be deeper but less visible, and our illness and loneliness may be known only to our Heavenly Father, but his arms bring consolation and comfort. Hear the Word, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you…” (Isaiah 66:13) and “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). How many of you were carried over your new home’s threshold by your bridegroom? God himself will ultimately carry us over the threshold to the eternal home that he has prepared for us. Jesus says, “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place

for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3). Here, at the height of our love relationship with him, are the arms of promise. He will come for us! What exactly is required of us then, as his children? Faith. Just that. Faith to respond to his call to salvation and accept his forgiveness. Faith to believe and do what he says, to trust him to provide all that is needed, and to abide in his love. The Word teaches us that even that faith is a gift of our Father! Never forget that even though he carries us, we will still go through trouble, and the rescuer himself may be injured. That is exactly the ultimate price that Jesus paid to save us. Knowing that God is carrying me gives me a message of hope to share. It also gives me encouragement in my work. As we hear in 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his Faith & Fellowship

Revelation: The end of the story is just the beginning  
Revelation: The end of the story is just the beginning  

Whether we think of The Great Tribulation or our own personal or family tribulations, the Word of God offers hope. This hope is related spec...