It’s Sunday morning and I’m at home. Normally I would be in church but it was a long night and I was barely functioning this morning so The Man took the older two kids to church and I stayed home with Cupcake. I’m still in my pajamas, wrapped in my favorite blanket, with a tummy full of warm English breakfast tea and three slices of bakery bread with real butter. I just finished listening to a Tim Keller sermon and I feel cozy and content…truly it’s been a quiet and lovely time.
And as if on cue, I heard Cupcake stirring in his room. I love to get that baby after he’s had a good nap. I miss him when he sleeps and there’s nothing I love more than feasting on his scrumptious baby self when he wakes up. The truth is, I love babies. I would keep a baby in the house all the time…it’s the raising them as they get older that I’ll pass on. As I was nursing this sweet soul, basking in the sweetness of the morning, I began to ponder this blessed relationship–that of a baby and his mother. And as I pondered, I sensed the Spirit saying to me, “This is how it is with you and me…think on it.” And so I did.
What I love about this baby of mine is that, well, he’s mine. He is mine. I love him because he is mine. I am deeply invested in everything about him because he is mine. And because he is my child, I have plans for him…and all of those plans are within the context of my immeasurable love for him.
And do you know what else I love about this child? He delights in being totally dependent on me, the one who gave him life, the one who continues to give him life. He literally cannot get out of bed without me lifting him up and over the side of his crib. When I walk in his room, he squeals with delight and bounces up and down. He knows I am his rescuer. And when I lift him out of that crib, he buries his chubby face in me because he is hungry for what I have to give him…and he knows that only I can give it to him. And when he is done, he is totally full and satfisfied, ready to take on life’s adventures…(which for a 9-month-old involves dragging himself around on the floor, not playing with the baby toys that are safe and instead scavenging for dust bunnies under the sofa and the power cord to my computer.) The point is, it should be that simple for me too. My Father loves me because I’m his. He wants me to feast on Him, to fill myself with what He has to offer, to be nourished by Him and Him alone so that I can face my own life’s adventures with glee and fortitude.
And as wild as I am for this baby of mine, my Father is a zillion times more wild about me. As I have kissed and hugged and squeezed my baby this morning, delighting in his chubby legs and gutteral laugh, I’ve thought, “Father, do you love me this much? Am I this perfect in your eyes?” “Yes!” He replied. “But a zillion times more.” My mind cannot fathom it. But I know that if I could really live out of that truth, how different life would be. To look to Him and Him alone as the one who can fill me up and meet my needs. To come to Him with outstretched arms so that He can lift me up over the obstacles I face. To live in total dependance on the one who gave me life…who continues, daily, to give me life. He has plans for me…and those plans are always within the context of His immeasurable love for me, His child.
Daily, I am wayward. I have my own selfish agenda. I want things that look so good, so enticing…but they will harm me. I throw fits and shake my angry fist because, like a baby, I want what I want. Period. Sometimes my Father lovingly redirects me. And sometimes He lets me have what I want and He allows me to experience the painful consequences of my misguided pursuits.
Even now, Cupcake is frustrated that he can’t get what He wants. Just moments ago He was content, here with me receiving the love and nourishment he needed. And now, he’s crawling back to me, both crying and laughing, saying “Mama” and reaching for me. So I lift him up into my lap and I kiss him and hug him and tickle him…and he’s laughing again, squealing with glee and delight actually. And I will always pick him up when he needs me. I will never turn him away. I will love him regardless of the messes he makes and the many times he rejects me and swats me away…because I seemingly get in the way of what he needs.
Just as my Father invites me to crawl up in His lap and find comfort. Just as He will always pick me up when I ask…and even when I don’t. Just as He will never turn me away or stop loving me. Just as He will watch me make mess after mess trying to get what I want. Just as He has painfully watched me swat Him away and reject Him.
May my Father grant me the grace to see my infinite need of Him, to squeal with delight like a dependant child, longing to be picked up and comforted and held tight. May I understand anew, possibly for the first time, how wide and how deep and how strong is His love for me.
And to my sweet Cupcake, I’m so grateful that God gave you to me…so that I can feast on your sweetness and in so doing, taste my Father’s goodness.