by Danetta Kellar
…the Lord your God carried you, just as one carries a child, all the way that you traveled until you reached this place. (Deuteronomy 1:31, NRSV)
Venturing out to buy our groceries in the ancient North African city was a daunting task. The Arab souq, or market, was crowded and noisy, no place for a mother and her newborn child. But we had to eat, and I had to cook, and food was necessary for both. So I strapped my little sleeping baby snugly in his carrier, tucked like a cocoon safe against my chest. I made sure to cover his tiny velvety head with a blanket just like the old lady next door told me to, to keep the cold from creeping in. A baby in public with an exposed head was a sure sign of maternal delinquency and neglect in that culture.
As I entered the jostling crowd of fruit sellers, cart pushers, donkeys, and veiled women pulling sullen children, I encircled my precious child protectively with my arms, my shopping cart bouncing noisily behind me over the cobbled streets.
My son is almost a teenager now. He does not remember the warm, cozy feeling of sleeping securely against me as I battled my way through the bustling crowds of the busy marketplace. He cannot remember the calls of warning that rang out as donkeys lumbered past with their heavy loads. He does not recall the feeling of my arms encircling him as he rested unaware.
What he does know right now, however, is that he is safe. He is secure. He is loved. In a million ways, he has been carried and protected, sheltered and led to this very place and this very day in his life right now. He cannot tell you how. But he will look back one day and understand.
In what place do you find yourself this first week of a new year?
Wherever you are, you have not come there accidentally, carelessly, or without purpose. You have been carried, protected, loved. You have been shielded, fought for, held.
Maybe the mere suggestion of this makes you angry. The place in which you find yourself seems devoid of care and safety. The journey has been fraught with danger and fear.
There is a safe place in the midst of the danger and noise, the fear and suffering of this fallen world.
There is indeed a God who made you, who carries you, His arms wrapped protectively around you. He will fight for you. You may be unaware of his presence right now. But one day you will see clearly, and you will understand.
No matter the place you stand this new year, tuck your head and nestle down into the loving arms of your God. Trust Him. His heart is flooded with love for you. Let Him carry you on this next leg of the journey.
Do you have a story about how God has carried you? I would love to hear it.