A few months back, my husband and I received a dinner invitation at a friend’s abode. Since I love to try new cuisines as compared to my “dosa-and-anything-with coconut-in-it” man of mine, I quickly accepted the invitation -ready to gorge down some food for my carnivorous and spice-loving palate.
On that fine evening, as we stood outside waiting for our friends (let’s call them Timothy and Ann and little girl Ruth) to open the door, we could smell the torturous and fragrant aroma of some four-legged critter stewing in a concoction of masalas. With a stomach that had been starving since mid-day (ready to wolf down dinner), I couldn’t wait to spend some quality time with the food rather the hosts.
Timothy welcomed us with a warm but distracted smile. I figured it was because Ann and he were stressing over the perfect masterchef flavour for their dishes. Personally speaking, there is nothing more fraught with peril than planning ambitious and dinner for guests and constantly being on the verge of messing up the entire menu for the evening. Pramod and I felt for their panic and tried to make ourselves comfortable in their living room.
Little Ruth made a flash of an appearance and went back in quietly to reconvene her barbie doll tea party. A while later poor Ann, after getting her burners under control, offered us some munchies and drinks and apologized profusely for the delayed dinner – which almost made me guilty for accepting the invite and sentencing her to the kitchen. She conveyed that they were expecting a few other guests and ran back in before Timothy set the fire alarm going again. A couple of minutes later the rest of the dinner guests trickled into the house. A family of four! Pramod and I braced ourselves for the inevitable raucous that would soon be kindled when offsprings with sociable traits convene to take over the world.
And as if spoken too soon, the adorable..umm…rugrats attacked the living room with their building blocks, dolls and whatever benign objects that could be thrown around.I ran for cover into the kitchen and pretended to offer assistance to the chef and convinced Timothy to spend some time outside the kitchen.
A little while later my stomach began to make its existence known. As I got out of the kitchen to placate the growling with a glass of water, I noticed Timothy, little Ruth and a boisterous 8-year-old lad playing a game. I stood there a while trying to figure what the excitement was all about. The boy had a beach ball in his hand which he was trying to throw at 3-year-old Ruth who remained high up in the safety of her dad’s arms. The boy’s aim was to hit the target (being Ruth here) with the ball. It looked like a game devised by the lad himself. I saw that he tried to carefully focus on where Timothy stood and how high Ruth was comfortably placed in his arms. He then put his plan into action, flexed his chubby arms and catapulted the ball at them. Timothy, privy to the boy’s plan, took a giant step to the side each time and pretended like he missed a major missile. Little Ruth giggled every time he did this. After a few more duckings, Ruth tried to squirm herself out of Timothy’s arms. He tried to strengthen his grip on her and warn her that it wasn’t a good idea. But she started to get agitated and Timothy finally put her down.
Now the boy had a pretentious grin on his face. He knew very well he could now aim correctly and harder at his target. I saw Ruth smiling wide and was confident that she could handle the big bully. Mr.Chubby-Arms bend down to pick up his trusted ammunition, held it in his hands for a few seconds, brought his arms back as far as they could go and threw the ball right at Ms.Giggles. Holding the plastic cup of water, I saw the ball spin and bombard Ruth right at her face. I saw her little body being pushed back by a force she had no control off and BAM!! She landed flat on her tiny tooshie! Her eyes once wide with excitement now turned to fear, her pale cheeks turned pink and her face left no trace of any pre-existent glee. I saw Timothy flinch a second, but then stood calmly long enough for Ruth to see that her dad was right and then walked towards her and picked her up in his safe and familiar arms. The little boy looked victoriously but that joy was short-lived when Timothy came to the rescue. The radiant smile returning to her face, Ruth now realized she was and will always be safe in her father’s arms.
SAFE IN HER FATHER’S ARMS…!!
This got me thinking.
We all know that our God is great, powerful and mighty to save. There is nothing in this world that is greater than Him. Nothing and no one can overpower God. We know that every dilemma of ours has a solution in Him.
But you and I are often tempted to rely on our own strength. We believe that our human efforts are capable of handling whatever life may throw at us. This is where just like that little boy, Satan laughs at us. He will convince you that you are stronger on the battlefield on your own. Worldly opinions and thoughts will make you believe in your own might, rather than in God. People will tell you that nothing is too hard for you, or mock you for being too weak that you want to prove them wrong. But after a while, all of these attacks begin to hit you. They get stronger as long as you feel you are alone on the battle ground. And just when you can’t take it anymore or muster any will to stand up again, you fall down flat on your bum. You lie helpless and immobile. But look up and reach out to Heaven and you will see- a hand stretched down to lift you up. God who was always there and never left you out of His sight will pick you up, dust you off and let you stand on your own two feet. But this time, the battle is no more yours to fight. Just like the Psalmist wrote,
“A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked”
– Psalm 91:7-8
Let God fight your battles. Meanwhile remain content, strong and filled with joy in His safe and loving arms. Jesus spread open His arms on the cross and declared that ‘IT IS FINISHED!!”. The very same arms now hold you with love and assurance. The battle belongs to the Lord and victory will always be ours-His children.
So today if you’re faltering in life’s race, hand over the baton to God. Let the devil get frustrated trying to catch you and let us deny him of any short-lived victories.
Remember, the devil will aim high but no evil can reach the height of the cross- the altitude of God’s love and power.
Cozy up in the comfort of His arms!