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Seeds of the Kingdom

Open Arms

by Christel Baxter

9 November 2021

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“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]”
Matthew 11:28, AMPC

When our little granddaughter, Hannah, was ten months old, I watched her one morning playing on the carpet, with her daddy keeping an eye on her. She is generally a very joyful little girl and loves exploring the world around her, but, after some time, she started getting tired, and began crying. Her daddy encouraged her to crawl towards him. He was not more two meters from her and completely within her reach. However, Hannah kept moaning and would not budge.

Her daddy eventually slipped off his chair on to the carpet, and while opening his arms wide, again invited Hannah to come to him, but Hannah stayed put. She was tired, and wanted comfort, but was unwilling to crawl into her daddy’s arms.

This little incident reminded me of how we, as God’s children, sometimes lose sight of the fact that we have a Heavenly Father whose arms are always open wide when we are in need of comfort and rest. Just like Hannah’s daddy who stooped down and opened his arms, God extends this invitation to us: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]” (Matthew 11:28).

As born-again believers we understand that we need to be courageous, stand strong in all things, endure hardship as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, and keep moving forward, despite the trials we face. Of course, this is absolutely true and biblical, but do we have as good an understanding of the comfort of God and the rest there is available in Him? Or do we, like little Hannah, remain stuck in that place of overwhelm, in spite of the open arms of our Heavenly Father?

When we come to the end of our own resources and ability to ‘fix’ our own difficulties and weaknesses – the things that cause us to be ‘heavy-laden and overburdened’, we have a Saviour who has resources beyond our imagination and the ability to ease and relieve and refresh our souls. ‘As a father loves and pities his children, so the Lord loves and pities those who fear Him [with reverence, worship, and awe]’ (Psalm 103:13). He really is a good Father, who has compassion on His children, and His arms are always open.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that You are a good Father who cares for Your children. Forgive me for the times I have refused Your comfort and have tried to labour through things in my own strength. Today I choose to lay it all down and find my rest in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Christel Baxter joined the Associate prayer ministry team at Shere House, S.Africa in 2008 after attending the 20 day school. Besides serving together on the associate team at Shere House, Christel & her husband, Gary, pastor New Life Ministries, a congregation in Boksburg, Gauteng. Their children, Liezl and Wesley, are both married, and they adore their son-in-law and daughter-in-law and their little granddaughter, Hannah! Christel is passionate about seeing broken lives restored and especially loves ministering God`s love and healing to women of all ages.


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