She sits in the corner of a bedroom at my dad’s house. She could tell some tales, but she’s old and tired and a little cranky. In fact, she doesn’t want to be disturbed. She’s happy to be observed, acknowledged and left alone.
She traveled by boat from Scotland to the United States and by covered wagon from Missouri to Texas just after the Civil War. She was given to my great-great-grandmother and came to live with Dad when my great-grandmother (his grandmother) passed away. We don’t know how old she is, but over 200 years is a safe bet.
She is a rocking chair.
Most mornings I visit one of her relatives. She’s not nearly as old, but she is precious. Twenty-five years ago, my young bride and I took a trip to Canton, to First Monday Trade Days. We had begun to think about starting a family and when we saw her, we thought she had some baby- rocking potential. When we sat down and tried her out and heard that steady creaking sound, we knew she’d be perfect.
We weren’t expecting yet, but we bought her as an act of faith that we would have a job for her soon. Not long after that, we found out she would be going to work before too long. She’s rocked two babies in our house since then, and maybe someday she’ll rock some grandbabies.
Presently she rocks a middle-aged preacher. She sits by the front window where I can watch the sun come up as I sip coffee, read my Bible and talk with the One who knows my thoughts before I can put them into words.
Sometimes I just sit and rock and enjoy the security of His presence. Sometimes a memory flashes through my mind of a restless baby gently soothed back into slumber by the gentle rocking motion, that perfect creaking sound, and the security of Daddy’s lap.
Those baby-rocking times were just as precious to me. Yes, they were soothing for the little ones, but I loved to have them in my lap. Sometimes I kept rocking long after they drifted off to sleep. I would still rock them now if they would let me.
I’m certain that my heavenly Father loves to rock His babies. Sometimes, we need to simply let the security of His presence soothe our restless lives. And in times when restlessness gives way to more intense experiences of turmoil, fear, anxiety, grief and anger, we need to crawl into His lap and rock on.
My favorite translation of Psalm 46:10 is “Cease striving and know that I am God.” I like that because it illustrates the great truth that I can be still on the outside, but in turmoil on the inside.
I don’t just need to “get still” – I need to stop struggling to get it all together, to understand it, to fix it… I need to know that He always has been and always will be God.
Dr. Gerry Lewis is director of missions for the Harvest Baptist Association, which is headquartered in Decatur. He writes a blog at www.lifematterstoday.blogspot.com.