It hasn’t been very long since my daughter arrived and although I know it’s my job to teach her many things—I think so far it’s been a time of mutual learning and growth! What has been a recent lesson is how my relationship with my daughter illuminates my own relationship with God.
For instance, my daughter loves milk. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 3am and everyone is asleep—she is down and here for the milk. If she doesn’t get it as soon as she wants it, she will exercise her lungs and let you know that you need to pick up your speed. And this is of course all with good reason, milk is full of the nutrients that are sustaining and keeping her alive and well. She needs it and she needs it often.
In the Bible, God’s word is referred to as our spiritual milk and we need it too (1 Peter 2:2). We need it to survive and flourish. I have been challenged because sometimes I ask myself, how much do I crave it like I am supposed to? There is no way that my daughter would even think of missing her feed. She is about this life. I need the word and I need it often. I need it so that I can grow the way I am supposed to.
What’s more, my daughter knows where to get the milk. As sociable as she can be, she is not thinking about being entertained by any other adult when she wants her milk. Once she’s in my arms—her face lights up at the mere prospect of the incoming milk and she happily closes her eyes and opens her mouth in anticipation.
If the Bible is like milk, I realised that I don’t always open it thinking that I am going to be nourished in that moment with good things. That sucks because there are in fact so many references to the Word being sweet (Psalm 119:103), nourishing (Psalm 1:1-3) and filling (Ezekiel 3:3; Jeremiah 15:16). If the word is active and living, I should be assured that my Father in heaven will feed me lots of goodness from His Word. If we as earthly parents want to give good gifts to our kids, how much more so our Heavenly Father (Matthew 7:11)?
Lastly, my daughter of late has been going through a growth spurt. Her brain has accelerated in its growing and developing and she has been learning lots of new things. The result of that is that she gets super distracted by the smallest of things. So when she’s feeding a lot of the time nowadays, she will stop and look around the room. Then she’ll decide to continue feeding again and two minutes later, she’s looking around the room once more. One day after several rounds of this back and forth I said to her, “Stay still! You’re not going to get what you need with all this hopping on and off!”
But in that moment, I sensed that this too is probably something God would say to many of us. We rush around in life getting so distracted by everything around us, that we are not eating or digesting all the good that He wants to give us. We don’t spend time being still and enjoying the good and we wonder why we end up cranky and unsatisfied. We can spend our money and energy on things that don’t satisfy or fill us, when all the while, God is imploring us to eat what is good (Isaiah 55:2) and be satisfied in Him (Psalm 34:8).
In the gospel of Luke, Jesus says to His disciples that if any of them are to come to Him, they must do so like a little child—openly, constantly and expectantly. And as we grow, the danger is to get distracted, but may we always hear the voice of our Father calling us back.
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