“In the Divine Embrace”

Our Advent Devotion for Monday, December 13, comes to us from The Fullness of Time by Henri J.M. Nouwen

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked

favorably on his people and redeemed them.

Luke 1:68 NIV

“Conversion brings with it the relaxation which lets you breathe again and

puts you at rest in the embrace of a forgiving God. The experience results in

a calm and simple joy. For then you can say: “I don’t know the answer, and I

can’t do this thing, but I don’t have to know it, and I don’t have to be able to do it.”

With Open Hands, pages 85, by Henri J.M. Nouwen

“In the Divine Embrace”

Faith invites us to do the hardest thing we will ever do: surrender. Conversion toward God, toward Christ, means that we have entrusted ourselves to the Other – to the One who has created us, saved us and wants eternal joy for and with us. Why wouldn’t we surrender ourselves to this embrace?

Surrender means letting go of our control – our plans, our opinions, our way. It means opening our minds to the plans and ways of another. It means trusting we need God and that God is there. We no longer have to plan each step or insist on our way. Now we can let God breathe, speak, plan and act in us. We are not alone. God is with us. Surrender is peace.


Friends –

For me, feeling God’s embrace, especially when I am praying, brings incredible peace and assurance that God indeed wants the best for me and for those around me. When I am able to surrender to that embrace, I am also able to relax and trust that God is with me, without conditions, no matter what.


Jesus, Redeemer, I surrender to you. I give myself to your will be for me and my life. As I anticipate your coming, I am at peace in your embrace. You will take care of me. Amen. Henri J.M. Nouwen