I am sitting at my desk. To my right is a stuffed bunny--of the "Peter Rabbit" variety. If this were LOST right now, there'd be some cool underscoring of music and I'd be flashing back in time a couple of weeks.
It had been a really, REALLY awful couple of days. Details aren't necessary. Just trust me in saying that the Satan was really finding joy in my brokenness. After a long day, it was time for Sheryl and me to put the kids into bed. As is our routine, we took turns laying on the girls' beds and as I settled into Ella's bed she asked me how I was doing. Kids are very perceptive.
I told her, "I'm kind of having a hard time today, honey."
She replied, "I know, daddy. I can tell," and gave me a big hug. Then, Ella reached over next to her pillow and picked up her Peter Rabbit and kissed it. She handed it to me and said, "Daddy, I want you to have this. You can keep it for as long as you need to. You can even sleep with it."
I had tears streaming down my face. Ella is a very loving child. But, this felt more like the hand of God through Ella. I took the bunny. I sat it on our bed and felt the comfort, the power, and the absolute beauty of a child-like heart of compassion.
The next day I tucked "Peter" into my computer bag...Ella checked just to make sure... and carried him to the office where he sits on my desk as a reminder of God's mercy in my life.
As I have contemplated God's presence this afternoon, I have been comforted by these words of Jesus: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
God reminds me...He's near.