"Oh! just one more minute"... or, "please don't stop just yet, Mom"...or, "just a little more, please". These are all very common phrases when I am scratching an arm, a back, or rubbing a head. They love it!
...and they always want more. And, I rarely turn down their plea (or at least their "first" plea!). I love to respond to that request.
The other day while hugging my girl, though, she added a new phrase, "Squeeze just a little tighter, please".
I had wrapped my arms around her for a nice hug, but she just wanted "a little tighter, please". And, of course, I obliged (with a smile). I could squeeze tighter. I could squeeze just a little tighter without hurting or crushing her. And, when I squeezed the content smile on her face was priceless.
This is the image that came to mind yesterday as I read Psalm 139... one of my all-time favorite Psalms, I might say!
"You hem me in-- behind and before me. You have laid your hand upon me." (verse 5)
When I took a minute to study a bit deeper in the Strong's Lexicon, I found that "hem me in" was exactly this beautiful image of squeezing. Apparently in the Hebrew it means, "to bind, besiege, confine and to cramp". ...almost entirely "negative" words, right?
And yet, in the context of a loving Father's (or mother's) embrace, it is beautiful concept. Father God binds me up, He confines and hold me in His loving and powerful arms!! He is before me. He is behind me.
He cramps me and squeezes me!! And, He can squeeze tighter and not crush me.
And, as I enter a this week awaiting surgery on Thursday, I can easily begin to feel overwhelmed, insecure, or afraid. But, His word reminds me. ...His Spirit reminds me... that I can ask over-and-over-again, just like my children:
I can lean in, tuck myself into His always-embrace, and ask: Father God, squeeze tighter, please! And, He does. He can. He will. He will besiege me, this loving, kind Father!
And, it makes Him smile to do so. ...and I feel secure again. I feel hope and fullness. I know He is before me and behind me. I am hemmed in!!