Stuck Between a Rock and a Soft Place


In a recent devotional, the author asked his readers to think about their fondest memories from youth. I am very blessed to have had a wonderful childhood, surrounded by family and friends who were loving and kind. In fact, it never occurred to me that I was not loved. It was only when I was an adult with adult friends having grownup conversations that I realized how many people did not feel loved as a child.

As I reflected on the reasons for having such a positive childhood experience, I realized that it was two-pronged.

1. My parents were very demonstrative and clearly showed their love for me and my brother. I have never doubted for one second that love. In their heart, I have always found a soft, safe place to be.

2. On the other hand, my parents were firm disciplinarians. We learned how to distinguish between right and wrong very quickly! We knew that our actions had consequences. Sometimes, it seemed like a hard place. But it wasn’t just from being disciplined that we learned proper behavior. It was modeled to us daily through their words and actions. My parents were a rock (and still are) in my life.

Now I realize that of all the lessons my parents taught me, the most important was that I was loved, no matter what. They loved me enough to discipline me when it hurt them too, and when it would have been easier to ignore things. They also did the hard work of living their lives the way they expected me to live mine. 

Because of my parents, I have always viewed God as a loving father (and a gentle mother), not one to be feared, but one to respect and please. It saddens me that the concept of God, the strong father and gentle mother, is difficult for so many who have had abusive or simply neglectful parents in this world.

Scripture paints a beautiful picture of God, the one who hides and protects us between a rock and a soft place:

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stoneBecause he [she] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him [or her]; I will protect him [or her], for he [she] acknowledges my name. He [She] will call on me, and I will answer him [her]; I will be with him [her] in trouble, I will deliver him [her] and honor him [her]. With long life I will satisfy him [her] and show him [her] my salvation.

How would you describe your childhood? Did you feel safe and secure? Do you know that you are worthy to be loved? How do you view God? What about your children? Are they growing up between a rock and a soft place? How will they view God when they’re grown?

Even if you had a terrible childhood, you can leave that behind and begin resting in God’s safe place, knowing that God loves you perfectly. It might not be easy to turn your thoughts and negative self-talk around, but I believe it is possible. I encourage you to meditate on Psalm 91. Find a counselor and a support group to help you. There are many great books that can help too. See some of my book recommendations on the lefthand sidebar. Whatever you do, refuse those negative thoughts that might play over and over in your mind, and say positive statements out loud. The Bible is full of them! 

Here are some of my favorite scriptural affirmations. We can all benefit from these statements, since life in the adult world is not always as idyllic as our childhoods.

The LORD my God is in my midst, and He is mighty to save; He rejoices over me with gladness. He quiets me by his love. He exults over me with loud singing! Zephaniah 3:14

As the Father loved his son, so he has loved me. I rest in his love. John 15:9

God’s love has been poured into my heart through the Holly Spirit who has been given to me. Romans 5:5

God, is rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loves me. Ephesians 2:4

See what kind of love the Father has given to me, that I should be called a child of God, and so I am! 1 John 3:1

I will love others because love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8

I do not fear, for God is with me. I am not dismayed because the LORD is my God. He strengthens me, helps me, and upholds me with his righteous hand. Revelation 21:4

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™