A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

On God’s Lap

November 28th, 2006

Years ago in the church I attended back in Iowa I had my first experience with nursery duty. While I am now a pro and can handle anything and everything related to kids, back then I was only comfortable as long as they were happy. It was that crying thing that I was afraid of. After raising twin babies and hearing crying in stereo, it doesn’t phase me anymore. But at the time it made me nervous.

On my very first Sunday with the cribs and the crawlers I wasn’t there 10 minutes when my friend Mark brought his 8-month old daughter Amy. He handed her off to me so he could go to the church service. She was fine for all of five seconds until she saw him walking away. Then it was open the hydrant, turn on the faucet, open the flood gates it’s cryin’ time baby. How such a little girl could generate such big tears was beyond me. I tried everything to get her to stop. Toys, walking, talking, and saying please please please don’t cry. Nothing was working. If anything it felt like she was picking up momentum. She was crying louder and longer.

I wasn’t a pro at this but I figured that a noisy nursery isn’t the best place to try and quiet a screaming kid. So Amy and I went next door into the pastor’s study. He had a nice glider rocker in there. We sat down and she cried some more. And I kept talking to her. I told her in my best calm, logical voice that the situation wasn’t really as bad as it seemed. Her Daddy would be back in half an hour. He was still in the building. I told Amy that I wasn’t such a bad guy and that her Dad wouldn’t leave me with her if he didn’t trust me.

And you know what? She responded to that.

She cried harder.

After about ten minutes Amy just flat cried herself out. Now it was just short little breaths and some quiet tears. Finally after a time Amy did what little children do when they are afraid and confused. She pulled in, put her head down on my shoulder, and after a couple more minutes fell asleep to the rocking of the chair and the steady tick-tocks of mantle clocks.

Holding Amy and feeling my left arm joining her in a nap, I was so relieved to see her calm down. As proud as I was of myself for hanging in there until she went to sleep, the fact is Amy didn’t understand a thing I told her. In her little frame of reality, she didn’t know for sure if her Daddy would be back. She didn’t know if everything would be ok. The fact is as she sat on my lap she didn’t understand anything about the situation she was experiencing. So she did the best thing she could. She pulled in, settled in, put her head on my shoulder and went to sleep.

Friends, when life is hard, the best thing you can do is sit on God’s lap and let Him hold you. It might seem simplistic to say when life is hard, just be still and trust God. But that’s what God says we are to do. And please understand that sitting on God’s lap when life is hard doesn’t guarantee a full understanding of the pain you’re going through. There are some hardships of life that can never be humanly explained.

What explanation will comfort parents after their 11-year old son drowns in the bathtub after an asthmatic attack? How do you adequately explain a house fire that destroys every single possession? A drunk driver taking innocent lives? How do you explain a relentless cancer that refuses to be contained? How do you explain the abandonment of a spouse? There is so much pain and suffering that makes no sense and this side of heaven, never will.

We do one another a disservice when we say trite religious things to put a good face on what God openly acknowledges is heartbreak of the deepest degree. God admits to us that life is hard. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous” says God. (Psalm 34) Yet God also says that He is in full control of the chaos that surrounds us. When life is hard, God says, “Be still and trust me.”

Friend, when life is hard, the best thing you can do is sit on God’s lap. Be still and let Him hold you.

Life is hard. But God is good. That’s what we comfort one another with. Whatever our pain, in the middle of it we remind ourselves and one another that the God of the universe who created the world and hung the stars in the sky and calls them all by name is the God who knows us intimately. He loves us with an unconditional love, a patient and forgiving heart, and a perfect ability to work all things together for good in our lives. Even the gut wrenching, soul ripping pain we experience that we don’t understand.

When life is hard, take refuge in God.

When life is hard, be still and trust God.

When life is hard, crawl up on God’s lap. Be still and let Him hold you. He is our Heavenly Father who “has compassion on us as a father has compassion on his children.” (Psalm 103)

In His promises you and I will find the peace that passes understanding.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our stronghold.” – Psalm 46:1-2; 10-11