Moustafa Ismail of Egypt has recently captured the title of ‘World’s Largest Biceps’. Measuring in with a whopping circumference of 25.5 inches, Moustafa’s arms earned him a 2013 Guinness World Record designation. This is a size that is somewhat difficult to conceive of even when you see him in a picture. His arms look a lot like those of the cartoon character, Popeye, the Sailor Man. Please allow me to put the size of Moustafa’s arms in a bit of personal perspective. When I was first issued my Army dress uniform, the pant measurements were 29w x 36l. Yes, I know. That was a long time and not a few pounds ago. But, still…His arms are almost as big around as my waist was in 1971. His arms are huge! And I bet he’s fairly strong. 🙂 But, I’m having trouble relating to Moustafa.
What I CAN relate to is the size of my dad’s arms. When I was quite young and of ‘carrying’ age, I remember trips to friend’s houses where the adults would sit around and do something exciting like ‘talk’ and the kids would go outside and find something interesting to do which usually involved trying to ride a hog (not the motorcycle kind), see who could hold on to an electric fence, walk the top rail of barnyard fence, see who could catch a chicken the fastest, chasing the old buck sheep (now that was fun) or any number of other ‘spontaneous expressions of youthful craziness’. The farm ponds and the roads were off limits, but pretty much everything else was a go if we could get away with it and survived to tell about it. Remember the old Donkey Kong video games? That was really videos of us playing outside. They just changed the identities of my friends and me in order to protect the innocent. 🙂
At the end of the evening, which was usually long past the modern limits of 7:30 bath and bedtimes (didn’t need a bath because we’d already been in the horse tank seeing who could stay under water the longest) and (we didn’t need to go to bed because we would fall asleep on the way home usually by laying in the back window of the car: this was before seat belts), we would arrive home already in ‘dreamland’. And the scenario would always be the same. Dad would park the car in the same spot, get out and ask mom to hold the house door open and flip on the lights while he gathered us up into his arms and carried us up to our beds. I wish I had a dollar for every time this childhood drama unfolded.
As I look back, now 60 years later, though my memory is still good, I cannot remember even one time that I panicked when Dad picked me up. I knew he could and would carry me along. His strength, ability and compassion were never in doubt. So I just slept on without a care in the world.
In a way, this is like our Heavenly Father. He once confronted AND comforted Moses by asking, ‘Is My arm too short to save?’! The answer was obvious.
Remember that God is infinitely stronger than Moustafa and eternally more reliable than my Dad. And just like He spoke to Moses, God comes and speaks to us through His word and comforts those of us in His family by simply reminding us that, ‘The Eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms’. Deuteronomy 33:27
Oh, the joy and comfort of knowing that the God Who spoke the world into existence, ordered its arrangement and sustains its life is the God who carries us along.