I hear the sound of tiny feet running down the stairs and I already know what is going to happen the minute she sees me. She will leap right into my arms for a long, tight cuddle. And even before I look up to smile at her, she is flying into my arms already. Phew !!! She practically knocks the breath out of me but I am always delighted with this routine. I never tire of it.

I have often asked my daughter why she always leaps into the air for me to catch her. And she simply says “Mummy, you are big and strong and you will never let me fall.” I know without any shred of doubt that my daughter will not go flying into the arms of strangers she does not know and whom she does not trust. That is never going to happen. But I am no stranger to her and neither is her father. With people she does not know, she is usually very reserved and cautious. Regardless of how cautious our children are, we as parents always look out for them; to protect and shield them from harm as much as we possibly can.

And this, quite frankly, is exactly what our Heavenly Father does for us too. He looks out for us and protects us from every manner of evil.

“The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Psalms  121:7 – 8 KJV Whenever  we come running to Him, His arms are open to receive us and to shield us and protect us from evil. “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.” Deuteronomy  33:27  KJV 

Even an errant child is never cast away by the Father. When the “prodigal son” took all his inheritance, before it was due to him and ran off to squander it, his father still welcomed him back with open arms. (A type and shadow of God’s unconditional love for us.)

According to Wikipedia; the expression “With a strong hand and an outstretched arm” is a Jewish expression which literally means God using His power on behalf of the Jews. It basically implies that God will teach a lesson to both the Israelites and to anyone who dares to resist Him. Trying to resist God’s power is an exercise in futility. We know what happened to Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen when they tried to resist the power of the Lord, God of Hosts.

“To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn,…

And brought out Israel from among them, …

With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm,… 

To Him who divided the Red Sea in two,…

And made Israel pass through the midst of it,…

But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, For his mercy endures forever” Psalm 136 : 10 – 15 NKJV

The God who did this is the same God today and forever. Even when and where we have been naughty, His arms are still and always outstretched if we come back home to Him. The truth is, He is waiting for us to come back home. Let us then be bold and take the first step on that journey back to Him and feel His outstretched arms wrap around us and enfold us with His love that never fails.