“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27).
IN OUR PRESENT CONDITION, WE ARE FRAGMENTARY CREATURES WHO LONG FOR THE WHOLENESS WE HAVE LOST. We are driven by deep desires to find some kind of “fulfillment.” Yet our hopes for perfection must not be set on the outcome of our own efforts, but on the completeness of our God, a God whose perfection is eternal. He is the “goal” of our existence.
The eternity of God may be hard to comprehend, but it is strengthening to consider. “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Bogged down as we are in all the limitations and frustrations of the temporal world, we need the hope that can only come from faith in a God who transcends time. The Scriptures present us with the soul-nourishing truth that God had no beginning and will have no end. Immortal, eternal, and infinite in all His attributes, He is able to deal in perfect wisdom with every one of the short-term problems that plague our mortal world, including the problem of our own sinfulness. God is not limited by time or space or worldly difficulty in any way. He is a God whom we may trust.
We are goal-striving creatures who always seem to be reaching for something in one way or another. In our moments of greatest courage, we reach forward. And in our moments of greatest hope, we reach upward. When we reach toward God, we are moving along the only path that holds any real promise for us. If it is not in our Creator, where else can we find the pieces that are missing from our created nature? “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:9,10).
The only arms strong enough to support us are the “everlasting arms.” And those arms are, in fact, waiting for us. Our eternal God waits for us to confess our weakness and come home to Him. The story contained in the Scriptures is the story of how God made this homecoming possible. It is the story of an infinite God in whose perfection we may find our sustenance and support.
And I smiled to think God’s greatness flowed
Round our incompleteness,
Round our restlessness, His rest.
(Elizabeth Barrett Browning)