My Keep

One of the best parts of raising kids is watching them learn to communicate. Children always have unique ways of saying things, and my daughter was no exception.

Sometimes, they try so hard but just can’t form the word. “Snake” becomes “NAKE-ssk.”

My two year old son loves Doctor Who and chants “DAH TOR HOO” over and over when the show comes on.

We saw a giant stuffed Domokun in the Toys ‘R’ Us on Okinawa, and Deborah declared it was “the LION.” I waved it at her and said, “Rawr.” She waved her hands and demanded, “AGH! I HATE THAT! GIVE ME THAT!” with impeccable two year old logic.

My wife’s favorite might have been when Deborah picked up a toy phone and declared, “Mommy, I haf to make a cone fall.”

But I think my favorite is what she would say when she gave me a hug. She would squeeze tight and declare, “You are my keep.” In other words, I am keeping you and not letting go. You belong to me.

Yesterday’s letter in the A to Z blog challenge was ‘K.’ So I am thinking of being someone’s keep.

This is one of the greatest facets of our relationship with the Father, and inspires my worship of God. He declares His everlasting love and promises to never let go. He wraps His arms around us and proudly proclaims, “You are My keep.”

A “keep” is a refuge, a place of defense.

In Psalm 31:2 (NKJV), David writes:

Bow down Your ear to me,
Deliver me speedily;
Be my rock of refuge,
A fortress of defense to save me.

Later he declares,

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. (Psalm 62:8 NKJV)

But that’s more about us running to God for safety. I am even more moved when I think of how God reaches for us and promises to keep us. Consider Jude 24 (NKJV):

Now to Him who is able to keep youfrom stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy

Perhaps the clearest picture is that of the Good Shepherd, Jesus, and how He cares for His flock:

27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 NKJV)

Can you imagine the God of the Universe speaking to you and expressing His love? Can you hear His promise of companionship and affection?

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…
because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.” (Isaiah 43:1-4 NLT)

In other words, “You are My keep.”

Starting the Chase

“I saw the Lord… then I said, ‘Woe is me, for I am ruined!’ ” – Isaiah 6:1, 5 NASB

“Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39 NKJV

Stormy Sea, by Marcus Larson

We were not made to stay in the safe harbors of life.

Welcome to Wanton Disregard for Safety, my new blog page for my thoughts and writing on worship.

Worshipers are stormchasers, pioneers, adventurers of a sort. We read in Scripture how everyone who truly encountered God came away broken, remade, changed forever by the experience. And yet we rush in, seeking His presence, knowing that finding more of Him means dying to more of ourselves. “He must increase; I must decrease.”

We are pursuing something powerful, mysterious, and at times dangerous. What is more terrifying is that the Storm we pursue promises to turn and pursue us! “Draw near to me, and I will draw near to you.” And still we press on to find His presence.

In the place of worship, we are broken down, torn apart, challenged and convicted, our flaws exposed for all to see. But in the place of worship, we are rebuilt, redeemed, renewed, and restored to our intended purpose. God did not call us to a life of ease. He called us into a storm, to be tossed to and fro on the waves and the wind, because that’s the only place you can hear His voice whisper “Peace, be still.”

I want to go there. Care to join me?

I’ve shared thoughts, experience, and songs related to worship on my main blog for several months. But I want to narrow the focus down, to really hone in on what worship is and why it matters. If you like my writing, or want to see what else I’m working on, please check out the About Me page to see what else I have going on.