One of the best things about going to the orphanages is when you first arrive. As we get out of the trucks, the kids come running up to us. They’re grinning from ear to ear and looking into each face. When they find you, they throw their arms up in order to be picked up and loved on. When you get them in your arms, they wrap their arms around you, lay their head down on you and smile in contentment. As you wrap your arms around them and hug them, that same contentment comes over you. There is completeness in that moment.
On my last trip, I couldn’t help but notice one little boy who didn’t run up to anyone. As I approached him, he took off running with a frightened look in his eye. I squatted down where I was and held my arms open. I motioned for him to come to me. The more I did, the further he got. When any of us got close to him, he began to cry. He was scared and didn’t know how to trust yet. No matter what we tried, he still ran and cried. I wish I could say that by the end of the trip, he was running up to us and hugging us. I wish I could say it got better, but it didn’t. He still ran when we came near.
As I watched the two types of relationships unfold over the week, I saw our relationship with God. So many times in life we face rejection by those we love, a devastating loss or an unexpected life change that takes us out of where we were comfortable. In those moments, God comes near looking to show us love and comfort. Many times we are like those orphans who run to Him with our hands up. We just want to be held and loved on. We want to find contentment when our world has been shattered. God gets that same contentment as He holds us. The same contentment as a father holding his child.
There are sometimes though when we run from God. We’re scared of what coming next. We don’t feel like we can trust Him after all we’ve been through. When He reaches out for us, we run. When He comes near to make things better, we reject His help. We think we’re better off alone. It’ll make us stronger if we do. We won’t have to depend on anyone. We think, “If I can just make it through this, I’ll be all right.” We try to do it in our own strength and in our own way. God patiently waits when we do. He knows that once you let go of the fear and embrace Him, you’ll see that it’s going to be all right.
We each fall into one of these two scenarios. Either we are the type that embraces God when He comes near or we are the type who runs from Him. Where do you see yourself? Are you resting in His embrace with your head on His shoulder? Are you smiling with contentment in any situation because you know He’s there to protect you and help you? Or are you afraid to trust Him? Are you running from His open arms? It’s time to realize you can’t fight every battle on your own. You can’t go through life without trusting. Stop running away and run into His arms. You’ll find the peace and contentment you’re looking for.