Three months of having a baby has taught me a lot. Things like how to do just about anything one handed, to always keep a sense of humour, and a few tips and tricks about removing a nappy! But I think there is also a lot that we can learn from the baby him/herself as well. Some things they grasp much more easily than we do. Three of these are dependence, delight and discontent.
My daughter doesn’t try to source her own food, when she is hungry she lets me know (sometimes she REALLY lets me know!) and I feed her. She wouldn’t dream of feeding herself, dressing herself, or washing herself. She can’t even contemplate yet what any of these things would entail. She is utterly dependant on us, her parents. Of course she is.
But as we get older this is something we lose. In fact, the older we get, the less dependant we are (to a certain point). I think we are often like this with God, too. When we say grace before eating we thank God for the food, but knowing that we earned the money to pay for it, we battled round Sainsbury’s to get it, and we worked in the kitchen to cook it. We often forget that we are utterly dependant on God for absolutely everything, for the very air that we breathe, and as such we rob him of glory that he rightly deserves.
1 Peter 5:7 reminds us to cast our anxieties on God because he cares for us. This dependence on God is such a simple thing, but how often do we forget to do it? How often do we try to deal with anxieties ourselves instead of asking God for his help. It’s not like he will turn us down, “if you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11.
Are you growing in childlike dependence on your heavenly Father?
Making a baby smile is one of the best feelings in the world, for the sheer delight on their face. And it’s not that hard to do: blow a raspberry, wiggle a toy, or simply smile first. Sometimes Scarlett will smile and squeal with joy simply because she sees the face of her mum or dad. Everything around her is fascinating and delightful.
Are we like this? “The heavens declare the glory of God,” Psalm 19 tells us, but when was the last time we looked at the sky and smiled because it reminded us of our great Father? As Christians, we have the perfect Father, yet do we feel sheer joy at just being in His presence? We ought to. Paul sets us the example when he was in prison, yet still exhorts the Philippian church to “rejoice in the Lord always,” Philippians 4:4.
Are you maturing in your pure delight in God?
The majority of babies make their entrances into the world crying. It’s as though one second on the earth is enough to convince them of its fallen state. And it doesn’t stop there. It doesn’t take much to make a baby scream their lungs out. They are all too aware that the world is not as it should be, and perhaps we should learn to be less content with it too.
Ever since the fall (Genesis 3), the world has been subject to sin, death, hard work and pain. But how often do we cry out to God at this? In the day to day of normal life, are we grappling in prayer with our a Father for those who are suffering? Are we standing up for those who are persecuted? Or have we grown too comfortable?
Once we have trusted in Jesus’ death for us, we can be confident that one day we will be in heaven, where there will be no more crying or death or pain (Revelation 21:4). But are we yearning for this like a hungry baby yearns for milk? Perhaps we all need a bit less ‘man up’ and a bit more ‘baby down’.
Are you discontented because there is a hunger that will never be filled till we are in his presence?
Written by Katie Holloway
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