“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, ‘Destroy him!’” Deuteronomy 33:27
On Sunday as we pulled into a parking space at church I saw a young boy, thirteenish, running toward one of the Sunday school buildings. I do not have a teenager and so, have no idea about the teen programs at church. The boy could have been running for any number of reasons. Perhaps he was excited to see a friend. Maybe the leader/teacher brings donuts and he wanted the “good” one. Maybe those classes start a bit earlier than the service and he was actually running a little late. Those are all fair conjectures but in reality I have no idea why he was running. What I do know is the impression that I had when I saw him.
I’ve never met this boy or even seen him before. He may be on fire for his Savior but as I supposed above, he might have a totally different motivator. For whatever reason I saw him as running straight to Jesus. Then my husband and I went into church.
As we sat waiting for the service to begin, watching the videos, hearing some church news I kept thinking of that boy, of the pure, unhindered joy on his face... Running!
Shouldn’t we all look like that as we approach our Savior? If we’re in right relationship to Jesus, then he should be our nearest and dearest friend.It was Sunday morning. Sunday mornings are a paradox for me. Some weeks I wake up and feel so joyful. It’s Sunday morning, which means church. On those weeks my heart, if not my body, runs toward the worship, the fellowship and the obvious presence of Jesus. Other weeks I wake up with a heaviness I cannot explain, one that often starts during the night as I attempt to sleep. Those weeks I start some very directed prayers before I even leave the bed, in a way that is not anywhere near running. My approach those mornings is more of a parched castaway dragging myself toward the refreshment of the Holy Spirit.
This particular morning was somewhere in the middle, an oddity as the extremes usually prevail. Seeing that boy changed my perspective. His joy, regardless of my lack of understanding thereof, sparked mine.
Then the service started. A few, very few compared to most weeks, musicians came out. Turned out they were visiting, filling in for our amazing worship team, a team that does not leave big shoes but huge, enormous snow boots to fill. My joy, I’m ashamed to say, lost a little glow. Then they began to sing. First one of my favorite songs, then another favorite but beyond that a message straight to my heart. It’s called “Forever Reign” and includes the words, “I’m running to your arms, I’m running to your arms. The riches of your love will always be enough.” Well, hello Jesus.
As we sang I saw that smiling boy in my mind and I saw him as a precious example of how we can and maybe should, always approach Jesus. In good times or bad, on the light mornings and the dark ones, when we feel it and when we have to remind ourselves that we are beloved and saved, we need to RUN to Jesus. We need to run, to fall into his embrace or at his feet. Everything we could possibly need is there.I speculated on the reasons the boy was running, a friend? A treat? Tardiness? But the reason doesn’t matter. The boy’s friend might have stayed home. The teacher may have forgotten the treats. His watch might have been fast. It truly is unimportant. The destination is the only important detail. When our destination is Jesus we will never, ever be disappointed. His arms are open, waiting and everlasting.