I want to keep you

I hugged her goodbye.

She wrapped her little arms tightly around my waist and looked up at me, tenderly–

I want to keep you.

She said it sweetly, boldly—without hesitation.

And my heart melted.

Oh yes, sweet girl.  We are for keeping.

Gosh, I love kids.  They embody all that is precious and fierce.  I hope to grow younger by the day and return to this kind of unashamed fearlessness. 

This little one was new to me.  The level of affection she shared with me was surprising, and yet it was so comforting.  It reminded me of something true.  Something I have felt in relationships—and it explained the ache in my soul when I cannot keep those I love as long as I want to. Even if separation is temporary, I hate it when it comes to the ones I love.

But this desire for keeping, and the hatred for separation echoes our design.  We are built for things eternal.  First and foremost, we were made for a relationship with God who is and was and always will be.  And we were made for one another.  When it comes to my brothers and sisters united by Christ, we are to be in life together for eternity.

And yet…

We live hereOut of Eden. Not yet to Heaven.

In a brokenness that wages war on what our souls long for. 

Don’t you feel it.

I do.  The palpable sin—the disgusting ways we hurt one another—the death that is rampant in our bodies and our souls.  I feel it—I see it everywhere—and I loathe it.  I see it in myself and in others and it feels like it is winning.

It creates this apathy because it feels so overpowering.

And it also creates a fiery rage that makes me want to battle it.

As I listened to this little girls’ wisdom, I remembered my God.  Our King.

He demonstrates a similar unrelenting and audacious love for us.

He is in the practice of keeping.

This quality of my God provides me reassurance on days I am fearful I will give up fighting.

This quality reassures me of my value and my worth—because of Him.  He is willing to keep me—gave up everything precious to have me.

This characteristic kindly reminds me of my faith and His protection–and the eternality of it—the brokenness won’t win.  Even if it feels like it is currently, it doesn’t get the last word.  Jesus does.

We are for keeping, friends. 

You are worth keeping.

And God is actively pursuing you, so you know that. 

Check out the precious words below from our fierce and faithful God to remind us that He is in the practice of keeping us.  If only we will let Him.

Love and hugs to all my favorites.  I want to keep you.

Sincerely,

Crystal

Psalm 121: 5-6 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.  The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

John 17:12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

Hosea 12:13 But by a prophet the Lord brought Israel from Egypt, and by a prophet he was kept.

Matthew 10: 29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows.

1 Peter 1: 3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Jude 1:1 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother to James, to those who are called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ.

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