But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life! Jude 2021 MSG
ON APRIL 21, 2012, a baby boy was born into our family. His name is Ezra Ryan Shrout. He weighed in at 9 pounds, 9 ounces and was 21¾ inches long. When my son placed his son in my arms, it was a moment that I will never forget. My son got up from where he was and, without my asking, brought his son over and placed him in my arms. As I looked down at this little baby boy, I prayed for his safety, his growth into manhood, and that one day when God stirs his heart, he will reach out to God and accept him as his own personal Savior.
My heart was full of praise to God for bringing this little one into the world and our family. Right there in my heart, I worshiped and gave praise to God. I expressed my great love to him. I was also reminded as I held my little grandson in my arms that God holds me in his arms the very same way. Many times when I have prayed for the sick, I will pray something to the effect that we are lifting up the sick person and placing him/her into the arms of God.
Living in the arms of God, letting him hold me and comfort me as I comforted my new grandson, is the place where I want to live. I believe that if we make room for God in our life, he will show up. He will hold us. He will protect us. God is more excited about spending time with me than I am with my grandson. What a wonderful, loving, and powerful God we serve!
Dear Lord, may I this day be mindful of you holding me in your arms. May I always be aware of your unfailing love and grace. May my response to you be extreme love that flows out of my heart! Walk with me this day and forevermore. Amen!
-David I. Shrout, Executive Coordinator for the Churches of God in Oregon and Southwest Washing-ton