To the womb

We found ourselves journeying along the unsteady terrain of Tecate, Mexico amidst an uprising of dust and the dimly lit roads.

And sat in the rear of a battered school bus, in our arms we cradled the tiny frames of two sleeping hearts.

And I watched as the bumps that set out to stir them from their slumber were rendered futile as we began to do everything in our strength to make sure that nothing would shake them.

As I held Teto’s little head into my chest to prevent the roads impact, I was awakened to the revelation that this is the heart of the Father who longs for us to remain in the safety and steadfastness of His embrace.

So often though, we as children flounder and falter away from the place where our safety and security is truly found. We attempt to build our own protection, lying beneath man made coverings, fighting self-evoked wars and retreating back inside our ever increasing walls of fortress. We question promises, rather than stand upon them, we forage for a foothold of safety and probe for peace, forgetting it’s our daily inheritance.

We have forgotten the art, or I wonder if we ever knew, of not questioning but simply resting in Him, not outside of Him.

Perhaps we’re attempting to remain outside of Him? In John 15:4 Jesus charged us with the words, ‘Remain in Me, and I will remain in you.’ Remaining in Him suggests a tight union, and inseparability and a friendship. We can’t remain with Him and not know Him. Throughout the bible, God bids Jerusalem to return, Israel to return, and many of his people to return, time and time again. ‘ O Israel, come back! Return to your God!’ He does this because we were never supposed to leave.

Jonah was offered the call to remain in the Father, when he received a direct message from heaven to go to Nineveh, yet Jonah ran in the opposite direction to Tarshish and ultimately, away from God.

Now, what did God do? We read, ‘now The LORD provided a big fish to swallow Jonah and Jonah was in the belly of the fish 3 days and 3 nights.’

In Jonah’s disobedience, yet in God’s mercy, God would not let Jonah continue to run, and so he brought him into the belly of the fish, for Jonah to realise that he needed to return. And though weeds were wrapped around his head and the waters rose above him, Jonah was most probably in the safest place he could be in the ocean, inside the belly of a fish.

In Hebrew, ‘belly’ comes from the word womb. I believe there was significance in Jonah being brought back to this place symbolising growth and birth. Just like God had called Israel and Jerusalem multiple times to return, He was calling the same of Jonah. It was in this womb, that Jonah had the revelation, ‘Those who worship hollow gods, god-frauds, walk away from their only true love. But I’m worshiping you, God, calling out in thanksgiving! And I’ll do what I promised I’d do!’ Jonah is called in the natural to the place where God was always wanting him in the spiritual.

 And I believe the Father is calling us back to this place of revelation, dependancy and protection. Coming back to our conception, to the place where our only eco-system becomes His, the one we truly understand we cannot live aside from. Where we are gifted with the nutrients we don’t have to find, and the air we don’t have to search for. Where our battles are fought and our rest is secure and where we get to be closer to Him in an intimacy that reaches beyond all the maternal bonds of this earth.

Hundreds of men and women feature throughout the bible, some who functioned outside of Him and some who remained with Him. I want to find myself encamped with Mary Magdalene, the mother of Jesus, John and Paul, who knew what it was to abide.

So come back, you who were born to be close to Him. Friend of Jesus, come as a child, hand Him back your bags of self acquired air, and nutrients, and clamber back to the womb that birthed your very existence that you were never intended to leave. Come back to dependancy and rest, fully embedded and caught up in His embrace. It isn’t weakness to come to Him, to need Him, to rest in His womb; for our strength comes from what is not our own.

Megan Landreth-Smith