Caesar was impressive. The biggest Doberman Pinscher I’ve ever seen, his head was bigger than mine. Flatfooted, he stood three and a half feet tall, but on hind legs, he could easily rest his massive paws on his owner’s shoulders. Weighing in at 115 pounds, Caesar made everyone who saw him stop in their tracks, and most backed up.
They didn’t realize, however, that Caesar was an overgrown lap dog. My Bible study group often met in his owners’ cozy study. After we’d take our places and open our books, Caesar would survey the room. Gazing longingly at the now-occupied couches, he’d position himself directly in front of someone with an open lap. Turning his beseeching brown eyes upon the chosen one, he’d gently lay his massive head in his or her lap and wait for the inevitable strokes his shiny black fur invited. Then he’d release a sigh that emanated from the depths of his doggie soul.
“He’d crawl into your lap if he could,” his owner would say with a chuckle and shake of his head.
I see a lot of Caesar in me.
Sometimes I’m big and brave. My faith is strong, my vision clear, and my purpose unwavering. I pray mighty prayers, dream lofty dreams, and accomplish great things in the name of the Lord.
Other times, I just want to crawl up in God’s lap and sigh. The world is too big. The problems are too heavy. My faith is too weak.
During times like these, I’m comforted by the knowledge that God sympathizes with my weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15 NKJV).
Isaiah 40:11 shows me the Father-heart of God: He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young (KJV).
Jesus also demonstrated the heart of God. In Matthew 23:37 he said, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
On sad, scary, or wimpy days, I find comfort in knowing that I can crawl up into my Father’s lap and rest there. He’s willing to hold me close to his heart for as long as I need.
Like Caesar, at times I look big, brave, and bold. Other times I’m frail, weak, and frightened. Either way, God meets me where I am. As I rest quietly in his presence, he lays his mighty hand upon my head and something miraculous happens. Nothing changes in my situation, but as I rest in his presence, he fills me with hope, strength, and the ability to press on.
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What do you do in times of despair?
by Lori Hatcher
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Lori is an author, blogger, and women’s ministry speaker. She shares an empty nest in Columbia, South Carolina, with her ministry and marriage partner, David, and best dog ever, Winston. She’s the editor of Reach Out, Columbia magazine, and has authored two devotional books. You’ll find her pondering the marvelous and the mundane on her blog, Hungry for God. . . Starving for Time . Connect with her on Facebook (Hungry for God), Twitter (@lorihatcher2) or by email (LoriAHatcher@gmail.com).