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There’s a baby in our church that was born a few weeks after Uriah passed away. His name is Malachi and I just love him to pieces. I remember when I heard he was born how much I “needed” to hold a baby. His mom, Emily, has been so sweet about letting me get my baby fix whenever I need it. I have to admit that I often feel guilty for asking to hold him. Malachi was born into a very large family and there are more than enough arms reaching for him at any given time.

I was reminded the other day, on Uriah’s six month birthday, that Malachi also suffered a loss. He lost a chance of a true friend to grow up with. I have many times thought of them learning to walk together, trying to say words, attempting to ride bikes, or shoot their BB guns together. Maybe they would have gone hunting together or learned to play guitar. Who knows, maybe they wouldn’t have even liked each other, but it’s a lot more exciting to imagine them as fast friends.

A lady in church passed by me today and she had Malachi in her arms. I was talking with someone else, but my arm automatically reached out to touch his peach fuzz hair. My heart and arms ached and I could no longer focus on the conversation I was having.

On my way home from church my mind revolved around Malachi and Uriah…of what may have been. I started to think about my little boy and how much I missed him. I wondered what he would be doing now. Would he be trying to sit up alone, sleeping through the night, would he have been a fussy baby, would he prefer being with his dad or siblings? Then my mind went to where he is. He is in total perfection in Heaven. He is with our Savior. He knows no sin, hurt, or betrayal. He’s seen and heard things I can only dream about. I would never want him to have to return to this sinful world, but my arms still ache.

So I looked at my imperfect love for my son and compared it to the perfect love of my Heavenly Father. There really is no comparison. I began to wonder how God must feel when I’m not close to Him. If my arms ache for my child how much more must His arms ache for us! Did God’s arms ache for Uriah? Is that why He took him home so soon? Do God’s arms ache for us when we turn from His Will? When we say God doesn’t care or God isn’t real what kind of ache does He feel? I often imagine God on His throne with his arms outstretched for us. Is He trying to reach us and we place ourselves out of His reach or push Him away? The wonderful thing about God is He’s always ready to hold us whenever it is that we decide to come to our senses and turn to Him. What a perfect Father…what a perfect love. Is this what it means when God says, “I am a jealous God”? Deuteronomy 5:9

One thing I really hated after Uriah died was people saying, “Just think, Uriah’s in Jesus’ arms now!” I know it was supposed to help me feel better, but I did not really want to hear that someone else was holding Uriah, even if it was God. I no longer feel that way. I’m thankful that Uriah is in Heaven. I miss him with every part of my being, but I would never in a million years want to pacify my selfish feelings and pull him from the presence of Christ.

So for now I will fill the ache of my arms with little Malachi and in just a few months I will be holding my new baby. Isn’t God amazing for supplying just what we need when we need it?