An elderly man had been confined to a nursing home for some years. The local preacher happened upon the gentleman one afternoon while visiting another resident. When the preacher first looked into the room he thought the man was confused and talking to himself but soon discovered that he was praying. As he prayed he looked toward an empty chair in the corner of the room opposite his bed.
“Excuse me, I didn’t mean to interrupt.”
“No, please come in. I was just finishing my talk with the Lord. I guess I looked pretty silly talking to that chair.”
“No, not all at all,” the preacher said rather embarrassed.
“Well some folk think I’m a little crazy because I pray just like God is sitting in that chair. It makes it easier for me to pray that way. I talk to him several times every day ’cause it gives me peace and comfort to know God is sitting there watching over me and listening to me talk.”
A few weeks later the preacher stopped by to visit with his new found friend. When he looked into the room he found it empty. The bed was made and all personal belongings had been removed. An aide stepped in. “I guess you’re looking for Mr. Smith? He passed away yesterday afternoon.”
“Oh? I didn’t know,” replied the preacher.
“Strangest thing though. When we found him, he was out of the bed and on his knees with his head in that chair. Couldn’t figure that out,” the aide said.
The preacher nodded with understanding because he knew exactly what had happened. He’d been talking to the Lord so long that when his final moments came he entrusted himself to God. He got up and put his head in God’s lap. All was well and he was ready for that final breath. He’d found a place of comfort in the lap of the God he knew so well.
There is a place of great comfort and security in the lap of God. I think first of Luke 16 and the story of devout Lazarus. This great man was bereft of any worldly pleasure but was taken by angels to a place of comfort described in the King James as “the bosom of Abraham” (Luke 16:22-23). Although not described in great detail this was a place of absolute protection. It was the place to where the penitent thief on the cross was to go upon his death – a place Jesus called “paradise” (Luke 23:43).
But we ought not think of the lap of God as a place reserved only for the dead. Indeed there is great comfort here and now for those who are in Christ Jesus. Paul struggled with an unknown physical problem but when he realized that God was working mightily through him he ceased to be concerned. It’s not that Paul’s problem went away – no indeed – it remained. But the apostle found great comfort in God’s mighty power. It was as if Paul had found the lap of God.
David also found the lap of God to be a place of power. In Psalm 3:5-6 the great poet of Israel wrote, “I lay down and slept / I woke again for the Lord sustained me. / I will not be afraid of many thousands of people / who have set themselves against me all around.” He found sustaining power in God.
Things are chaotic right now. But God will continue to care for his people. It is in his strength and his power that we live each day. The Lord who even knows the number of the hairs of our head (Luke 12:7) and will provide deliverance. Trust him and lean on him for he loves you mightily!