At a recent retreat I read Henri Nouwen’s The Life of the Beloved, which really blessed and challenged me. Learning to live as someone beloved by God has been really hard for me, yet I know that my belovedness is what is true and good about me.
I was searching my Bible for instances in which God calls us His beloved, and I found Deuteronomy 33:12, which says, “About Benjamin He said: Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders.”
What a picture of our relationship to God! Knowing that I am beloved of God allows me to rest securely; nothing to prove, nothing to earn. Just receive and rest.
And how secure am I in Christ? I rest between His shoulders. The first reading of this image made me think that we are carried by God as a shepherd carries his sheep, resting between His shoulders on His back, protected and secure. But I found through a commentary, that the Hebrew noun for shoulders is better translated as being carried not on the Lord’s back, but close to His chest. I’m honestly more comfortable with my first interpretation of this image, but being conformed to Christ means I allow Him to define and order who I am and how I relate to Him.
Shielded and secure, resting in love in the midst of all that I have to do. That is learning to live the life of the beloved.