Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…James 4:8
I enjoyed one of my favorite things this weekend! Shannon and I spent a little time babysitting my three great-nieces and their infant brother. When it was time for the baby to sleep, I took him upstairs to rock. It was an absolute pleasure to hold that tiny little guy in my arms and just watch him. It was a little different than rocking my own babies. I wasn’t in my own house so I wasn’t distracted by chores or tasks that needed my attention. Shannon was busy playing with his big sisters so I had no other responsibilities at the time but rocking him to sleep. I also think I appreciated the experience more than I did with my own babies because I’ve learned the hard way that life happens so quickly that the tiny moments are the ones we need to treasure the most! I learned a lot from that beautiful baby boy as I watched him snuggle into deep sleep.
I noticed how hard he sucked his pacifier when he first started falling asleep. I noticed how hard he tried to open his little eyes to keep from falling asleep no matter how heavy they were to try to lift open. I noticed how he would flinch and lurch, stretch his arms and straighten his little legs when he would hear a laugh or a screech from one of his big sisters playing downstairs. And finally I noticed how still he became and how that pacifier fell right out of his little mouth when he finally surrendered and drifted soundly off to sleep. I wonder if we look a lot like that to God when he’s trying to bless us with his rest and his peace.
As I watched him sleeping in my arms I realized how truly peaceful and safe he was; much like the safety we are offered in the arms of Christ but are too busy to slow down and savor. I thought about how hard he tried to fight his peaceful nap; much like the way I try to fight the will of the father. As I swaddled him closer I knew how much better he would feel when he finally gave up the fight and just let sleep win, the sleep would make him so much happier. The same is true I suppose with our surrender to the desires of God. He knows what we need and what will make us happy but yet we fight it like our way is somehow better. The flinching and stretching and desperate attempts to hold open his little eyes reminded me of the dozens of times each week I rail against the things that are best for me in the father’s eyes. My favorite moment was when he finally surrendered completely and his little body became so peaceful and still that the pacifier just plopped right out of his mouth. That obedient surrender brought so much contentment. I realized there were countless days I longed for that same contentment in my life and it was right there before me just waiting for me to surrender and claim it for my own. I’m an experienced, educated woman but I learned volumes from a tiny little boy only a few weeks old. Maybe he can teach you something too!
A Seed To Plant: Find an image of a peaceful sleeping baby and sit in prayer with that image. Allow the peacefulness of that infant to inspire you to surrender and then allow God to blanket you with his comfort and his love.
Blessings on your day!
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