I marvel at the ways God meets my soul when I spend time with Eve. I look forward to Tuesdays when I get to spend the morning with my 21-month-old granddaughter. The time together flies by as we play kitchen, make puzzles, read books, build blocks, climb furniture, and imagine life with Fisher Price “little people.” We play, laugh, and giggle.

During the time with my granddaughter, God invites me to delight, live in kairos time, savor each moment, and recognize His creative handiwork in humanity.

Several months ago, I noticed God drawing me to “play” as a spiritual practice. Playing with Eve develops lightness within my soul and a carefree posture towards most of life. Eve teaches me to enjoy the small things, like emptying my purse and putting on chapstick. She shows me how to move my feet, dancing and jumping to imaginary music and revel in simple pleasures like magnetic letters and numbers on the refrigerator. God meets me in the presence of my precious granddaughter.

With whom in your life does God meet you? A child, neighbor, co-worker, spouse, ministry partner, barista, handyman, friend, family member, etc.?

This past Tuesday I experienced a most memorable and cherished space with Eve. She and I played with cars and pretend little people. Suddenly, she stopped. She looked at me, took my finger and then came toward me and laid across my chest. The moment was most tender. I held her as she rested upon me. Shortly after, she popped up, looked towards the toys again, and returned to lay upon me and receive my embrace. She rested briefly and then got up once again, grinned at me and returned to playing with the toys. Time stood still. No words were spoken, but love beheld this instant in eternity.

Held – To grasp, support, bear the weight of. To keep or maintain in close contact. To remain secure without giving way.

As I reflect on this special space with Eve, I sense the Lord knocking at my heart. With ease Eve leaned in and rested upon me. She knew safety, security, and love. Time held the moment – there was no rush to “move on” to something else. This instant offered Eve rest, attention, and warmth. Eve experienced acceptance and affection without condition. She let me meet her need with my presence. I welcomed her and loved that she let me hold her.

Imagine a moment when you were held; a cherished space when time stood still as you leaned in and rested in the care and love of another.

I think I’m becoming aware of God’s invitation to each of us. God offers His presence and receives us. He wants us to lean in and rest upon Him. He offers safety, security, and steadfast love. There is no hurry with God, just presence and peace in the moment. God extends His delight in us and loves when we let Him hold us. Our triune God provides community, connection, and comfort as we are held by Him.

The Apostle John, described himself as one whom Jesus loved and as one who leaned upon Jesus in closeness (John 13:23). John appeared to understand the gift and grace of being loved by Jesus and leaning close upon Him. He cherished being held by Jesus.

We too are the beloved of God. Jesus loved us so much that He demonstrated the extravagance of His love throughout His life. He loves us, welcomes us, and holds us.

Sometimes, however, I resist being dependent upon my divine Father for my needs. I endeavor to meet my needs myself through performance, intelligence, withdrawal, and even dismissing the existence of needs. Nevertheless, God designed humanity with fundamental needs for safety and security, affection and esteem, and power and control. When our hearts rest in Him, we discover He meets these longings of the soul with Himself. We can rest in Him.

Wonder about the needs God designed you to have. In what ways do you recognize your needs? Do you allow God to satisfy those longings? In what ways do you attempt to meet your needs outside of God?

Watching Eve lean in, rest, and be held reminded me of the posture God wants me to live with in Him. God holds the yearnings of my soul. The question is, will I be held? Will I let go of striving and sorting on my own in order to release and rest with the One who knows me best? Will I relax and lean upon Him for safety and security? Will I look to Him for affection and esteem? Will I allow His power to be perfected within me?

Will you be held? Will you let go? Will you relax? Will you look to God? Will you let Him meet your needs?

I long to be held by God and know His kind and comforting presence. I long to lean upon the Lord and let Him sort the struggles and stirrings within my soul. I long for my heart to be at home with God and look to Him for the needs I notice within me.

God, grant each of us the freedom to allow you to meet the essential needs of our souls.

What do you long for? Lean upon the Lord and let Him meet you with His loving, strong, and faithful presence.

God cherishes space with us. Take a deep breath and lean your heart upon our loving Lord. Receive His attention and affection. Let God offer His secure and safe presence. Rest in God’s care and take in His powerful presence.

Be held by God.

“He who rests his head on the breast of Jesus, hears the heartbeat of God.” – Celtic Saying from a monk of Patmos.

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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

John 13:23 –  One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.

Romans 1:7 – To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.

Henri J.M. Nouwen. Life of the Beloved. New York, NY. 1992.

J. Philip Newell. Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality. Mahwah, NJ. 1997.

Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.

Natalie Grant. Held.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9n97BGlQpxY

Casting Crowns. To Be Held. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIZitK6_IMQ

Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.

February 9 – Breathe Retreat – Littleton, CO

February 21-March 5 – Australia with Gary, on behalf of GTP. Speak with a women’s group Feb. 24.

March 18-April 5 Lviv, Ukraine – Teaching course, The Care of Souls, at Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary