It happened a couple of months back. We were talking, Mister and I, with a friend about our Saul-turning-Paul’s journey. God had heard Mother’s prayer for a “Damascus moment,” and He’d come through; intervened; delivered in the truest sense of the word. It was miraculous for sure, and while He’d not done it the way Mother’d intended, His way, after all, had been best.
“I wanted to follow him around with a pillow,” I’d said that night beneath a thousand stars, “and cushion his fall. It was so scary to release him, to give him into God’s hands.” And that’s when it came, the taproot of the fear that had kept me so long from surrender:“I was afraid God’s pillows had rocks.”
God’s “pillows.” A mother’s “pillows,” and the desire to keep a child safe. It was instinct to protect, to safeguard one’s young. But what if “keeping safe” meant, instead, interfering? Meant delay of the answer? Meant more (not less) harm to one’s child? What if that?
What crazy notion was it? What foggy confusion caused a mother (or father) to think that surrender was dangerous? Was threatening, unsafe? That giving them up to the Lord was all risky? That staying surrender meant one kept control…
All lies, every one, meant to bind and to hinder. Meant to keep parents struggling in a fight for control. Control, which was naught but illusion, a shadow. Control, which was simply a lie.
God’s pillows, and rocks. The specter of consequences. The horrible “what if’s” and disaster’s hot breath.
It was an act of grace, of mercy excessive that led Mother straight to an altar. On a cold, wintry day, she laid them down, one, two, three, four, and bound them with cords to the horns (Ps. 118:27). Ah, surrender.
Coming up out of that valley, having crossed desert’s border, can I tell you that it’s safe–in fact, glorious–to surrender? To lay one’s offspring sweet into His hands? That He is all faithful, that He can be trusted? And this, that God’s pillows will have just the right rocks…
You, there, fearful mother. And you, doubting father, do not shrink from God’s chastening hand. His heart can be trusted. He’s not out for destruction, and He knows just which “rocks” it will take.
If you’re still carrying pillows, if you’ve not surrendered, then run to an altar like me. There, lay down your sacrifice, binding it with cords, and let Father do His best work.
My own “Paul” is listening as we’re telling the story. He who carries the marks of Father’s “rocks” is being made new. He’s singing His praise, heart giving thanks, and he’s reveling in mercy and grace. Bless the Lord!