No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. John 1:18. NLT
The expression John paints of Jesus being near to the Father’s heart is not new to us. Today, we use the same expression to describe a feeling for our children. ‘Near and dear to our heart’ implies that the relationship is not like most others. Encounters with them ~ we carry with us. Words they speak to us ~ we hold dear. Pain they express ~ we embrace and lift to the Father constantly in prayer.
To be near to the Father’s heart literally means that Jesus was ‘in the bosom of the Father.’ A bosom is defined as three things.
- The bosom is part of the upper body between both arms. The heart, specifically.
I don’t know what you face today. It may look like a routine day to you so far but for every person who faces scary unknowns, God has you near to His heart. You have not been pushed away, put down, or even relegated to a place near Him yet out of sight. He has embraced you and drawn you up to His chest. When your heart beats, He feels it. When His heart beats, you feel it. In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them, He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. Isaiah 63:9
- The bosom is also the upper part of a loose garment where things are tucked away, carried with the traveler.
God has also chosen to tuck you into His bosom for safe keeping. No matter where He’s actively at work today, you are right there. Just before my friend, Maryann, left for the Holy Land a few years ago, I lamented, “I wish you could tuck me in your suitcase.” The sentiment is understood ~ If only I could see what you see, experience what you experience. God wants me to know that I stay with Him always, no matter where His Spirit goes. When He has a heart for a remote region of the world, He will show me His passion for the people if I just ask. When He is grieved by sin, I will feel His grief. I am trucked into His cloak and it is wrapped around me securely. He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart. Isaiah 40: 11
- The bosom is also a bay in a body of water.
God has promised to be a bay in the storm. In the distance, I see a u-shaped indentation in my voyage. I recognize the calm waters that only a bay offers. The mountainous waves roll past its opening while swimmers float near shore on glassy seas. God is offering me this harbor, anytime, and calls me to pull out of turbulent waters. How do I find this bay? It’s wherever He is. They rejoiced in the silence, and He guided them to the harbor they desired. Psalm 107:30
I need this today. You’ve picked me up, taken me with you to my divine appointments today and when turbulent, You draw me into the stillness of You. Amen