With Stephanie out of town, it falls to me to do the parental duties, namely, get everything ready for Campbell for school tomorrow... to feed him... give him his bath... rock him and lay him down to sleep... and when I finally got Campbell to sleep, I laid there a while, watching him sleep. Like many toddlers, he fought it. First his eyes were wide open, looking around, then he would close them, then open them again.
After a bit, though, the time he spent with eyes open became less and less, and the time spent with eyes closed began to lengthen. After a little bit, his eyes remained shut, the pacifier stuck firmly in his mouth was barely moving, and his hand, which lay on my outstretched arm across the bed became limp. He was asleep. In one final act of awakeness before he became completely enveloped in his dreams, he moved closer to me, put his head into my chest, laying on his side close to me.
Campbell snuggled up next to me, where it was was warm. Where it was cozy. Where it was familiar. Where it was... safe? No. Not safe. There was no "safe" as he doesn't know what that word means, only how it feels... rather, he has no concept of danger. He has no concept of fear. He just knows that when he is snuggled up to Daddy or Mommy that he is most comfortable, most at peace, most relaxed and perhaps feels our overwhelming love up close that he may not feel when he's across the room playing.
How great it would be in our tired moments, in our weary points, in our days, weeks, months... minutes, where we are exhausted, where we cannot stand, where we fight everything away only to give in to our complete desolation and exhaustion... we would be better to remember the comfort and love that we feel when we are that close and intimate with our own heavenly Father, with a love so deep and consuming that we forget all about "safe" and "danger", and we just feel Him.
His love for us is just as real when we are close to him as when we are far away, but like a raging fire, our proximity does not change its power. We only feel that power when we are near.
We need that love, that embrace, that tender hold of God who says simply, "Come close to me and rest, child. I'll take your exhaustion and give you strength, I'll take your tired and give you joy. But first, just be with me. Be near me."
That's when we recover. When we sleep in the arms of God.