Deut 33.27 The eternal God is our refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms.
This verse is often read out at funerals but is really more to do with everyday life. It was written to the children of Israel just before they entered the promised land. The picture it paints for us is of God the Father stretching out his arms ready to catch us and hold us securely. He thankfully is not bound by the laws of social distancing.
It is Father’s Day on Sunday and like many of us I have been thinking about some of the good incidents in my life where my dad played a significant role. I remember one Saturday morning climbing one of the oak trees on our little bit of land next to our house. I was able to get to a good height and had moved along one of the large thick branches with my legs over each side of the branch. I wanted to reach the end so I could report back to the family what I had been able to do on my own. Yes, I wanted to boast what I could achieve at 8 years old and impress my older brother. However, I got stuck. I could neither move forward or backwards. Panic started to set in, and I yelled for my dad. He eventually heard me call out, and seeing the dilemma I was in, decided to take prompt action. He stood underneath me and explained how he was going to catch me. I had to lift one leg over the branch and then hold on with my hands and after a count of three, let go so he could catch me.
It was not easy letting go. I think we had three attempts before I had the courage to do it, but once I did let go, the panic lifted, my heart stopped pounding, my breathing was relaxed and I was safe again. I was not able to boast about my achievements. I could only tell the story of my dad being there for me and catching me.
We will face many situations in our lives where we need a Heavenly Father to catch us, but we have to take a step of faith and let go. Many of us do not have an earthly dad to be there for us but these verses show us that we have a Heavenly Dad who is there to catch us and hold us in the difficult times. Our part is first believing in a God who cares about us, knows our situation and is always there for us, and then taking the step of faith to jump into his arms. We will then be able to say. “The eternal God is my refuge and underneath are His everlasting arms.”