Close to His Heart


10See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm.

See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.

11He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms

and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

                                                                                      Isaiah 40

What a great discussion we had last Friday morning at Bible Study regarding the “two arms of God!”  One arm is strong and rules all He has made, while the other is gentle and gathers His own to himself. We filled our 30 minutes of discussion almost entirely with personal stories of the way God has shown us His tender care and provision, especially during times when we need to trust His sovereignty.

We believe in a God who is in control of all He has created. This means His ultimate purpose will be accomplished without fail.  He allows both the sun and rain to fall into each life and is near to us through every circumstance.  His purpose, His comfort, and the knowledge of His nearness gives us strength as we walk through difficult times.

I’m privileged to sit in a room surrounded by the wisdom of  women who have benefitted from many years of walking with God.  When they say God has been there in the midst of their greatest trials, they do not speak lightly. He has been there.  Sometimes it’s hard to see God in the midst of pain, but as the waters recede, we see that He has been stalwart in His presence.

Our discussion seemed to tie in to a social media post I’ve seen repeatedly over the past few days.  A number of people have shared pictures of  the Temple de Santiago, a 400-year-old church usually submerged within the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir in Mexico.  The Temple is making a rare appearance now as a result of falling water levels in the reservoir during a drought.

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 Hauntingly beautiful, isn’t it?

             (AP Photos/David von Blohn)

The church building has been under water since 1966-almost 50 years, but that doesn’t nullify its presence.  Reading the story of it appearing during this time of drought took me back to our discussion at Bible study.  God is often most near when we are experiencing drought and pain.   In fact, God is near all along, but often His children experience His presence most when they walk through times of drought.  Often our greatest periods of growth begin during these times with Him. His presence is the nurturing arm of God which strengthens us during the journey.  Many beautiful souls I know will gladly attest to this.

May God bless you with the knowledge of His presence in every situation.  May His nearness be a comfort when you are in need. May you know Him well enough to say with confidence, “He carries me close to His heart.”

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1


About Vicki Gatchell

I am a wife, a mother of four, a small-town girl, a lover of people, and most recently, I have been overwhelmingly called to share the message of Jesus Christ in Grace and Truth.
I grew up on a farm near Hicksville, Ohio where I raised sheep and was nurtured in a love for nature. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Therapy from The Ohio State University and have been practicing Physical Therapy for over 25 years.
I received my Master’s Degree in Ministry Studies and Women’s Leadership Studies from Grace College and Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. I am a life-long student of theology, a longtime ministry volunteer, and I feel called to step forward and lead.

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