When you’d rather stay small

It feels like a lot, all this change.

I google “U-haul” and check the Canadian Tire flier for ironing boards and look up a new medication to be started this week. The unknown shapes itself into a timid question. Will the newness and increased responsibility (which feels, in a way, like growing up again) entail God caring less tenderly for me? It has been so beautiful, the way I’ve been carried. Will these next steps of growth mean learning to look after myself again, relying less on His provision?

When I finally manage to get the question out, my Abba responds so quickly it seems He’s been waiting for me to speak the fears to Him so he could give me the treasure He’s had waiting.

He takes my hand and leads me back to verses that have often comforted in the past, waits (with eyes sparkling, I think) for me to spot the treasure hidden among the familiar words.

“Listen to me, house of Jacob

and all who remain of the house of Israel,

the-ones-borne from birth

the-ones-carried from the womb

even to (your) old age I am he

and even to (your) grey hair I will carry (you)

I have made, and I will carry

I will bear, and I will deliver.”

(Isaiah 46:3-4)

The third and fourth lines each begin with a verb. We who belong to God are named not by a rigid, unchanging noun, but by an action. And the action is not ours, but God’s. The identity bequeathed on us by the One who created us is “ones-carried.” This, at the core, is who we are: ones carried. Will we ever, then, not be carried?

In case we miss the point, He speaks it again. He surpasses the usual Hebrew protocol of hiding the subject of the verb in the verb’s ending. Here, repeatedly, the pronoun is added, focusing double attention on the one acting. Literally, it reads:

“I, I have made, and I, I will carry

I, I will bear, and I will deliver.”

It couldn’t be any clearer if God had outright said “It will never be your job to carry yourself. It’s mine.” (He pretty much did. . . just in Hebrew). It’s a part of the commitment that He made in our making. In conceiving and shaping us, He guaranteed to carry us Himself, all the way through to our final safe delivery into His face-to-face eternal presence.

So enjoy His arms with me, will you? It’s who we are: ones carried.