I look at her withdrawn, held back, unwilling to come join the rest of us.
I beckon. She stiffens.
Scars from past abandonment, neglect, and abuse hold her like chains to her chosen spot. She will not come.
I see myself in her. I see how I braced myself against warmth because I had believed the lie that I didn’t need it. I see how I held back from love- deep and lavish- because I decided I could do without it. And slowly, a bit at a time, the cold I surrounded myself with seeped deeper into my soul and distorted my vision of the love available to me.
I see it clearly now…that surely one of the saddest things ever is to be deeply and lavishly loved but not have the eyes to perceive it.
What a tragedy, to get to the other side of life and see how one could have lived- as a dearly beloved child of God, sure of His love and unfailing goodness.
How does one miss this? How do God’s people miss this incredible life?
I look at her and I see myself. I see how I did it, how I missed it for so long: I failed to “lay hold.”
“…So that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:12
Just as she is in our household, never to leave, always identified with us, so I am in Christ. He is my brother, my family, and I am in the household of God. He has reached down and laid hold of me (Phil 3:12) and has taken me from the domain of darkness and abuse and rejection and pain and transferred me into the kingdom of the family- His beloved Son (Col 1).
And I can either sulk and hold back and piddle in the corner with my little pet toy, or I can reach out with both hands and press forward and lay hold of that which has laid hold of me.
The remedy for rejection is acknowledging the acceptance offered in Christ.
The remedy for neglect is embracing the love and warmth extended me in Jesus.
The remedy for abuse is running to the table of fellowship with Him, where I am always welcomed, loved, and nourished back to health.
Hiding out in the corner never did anyone any good…except the enemy who wishes to single us out from the rest to devour us.
Surely I must help my precious one learn to embrace the new, push forward to the warmth, and lay hold.
We’ll do this together, she and I. We will learn together how to come out of our corners, how to put down our pet emotions, how to stretch out our hands and open our arms wide and embrace the grace that has been lavished on us.
Together, we will lay hold.