Life is certainly moving along quickly now that Serenity has arrived! Marie is recovering well, and other than a couple minor issues that have been resolved, Serenity is doing well as well! It is hard to describe the appreciation we have for all the support and prayers that have gone up for us and the little one. We are grateful for the time we have at our “home base”, and for being able to be actively involved in our church’s upcoming VBS and then SWMI (Silent Word Ministries International) additional training later this month! We are also looking forward to hitting the road again at the end of June for meetings in Texas! As we are learning new routines, habits, and energy levels (read: less sleep), it is amazing to watch God use a baby to show us unique lessons as new parents.
Serenity is adorable (parental bias disclaimer), but very funny when it comes to feeding. She is notorious for being hungry but not staying alert enough to finish eating. Marie and I will gently tug on her arm, or find some means of gently reminding her that she needs to be eating, and not sleeping. In the first couple days as we were finding out what works to wake her up sufficiently, I noticed that if I held her securely in my hands, but gave her arms no place to rest against, she would squirm and wake up as she felt uncomfortable. She was perfectly safe, but she didn’t feel safe.
As I watched her I couldn’t help but think about how that is like you and me. Instead of remembering that we are commanded to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (II Corinthians 7:1), sometimes we get very placid and spiritually go to sleep. When we should be regularly feeding and growing our relationship with Christ, we can slip from contentment to complacency. We all too quickly become “okay” with a mediocre Christianity and are enamored by a temporal value system and an ethic that is determined by pleasure (if I like it, it is right). “As long as I am not too sensual, too undisciplined, too rebellious, too mean or controlling, or too bitter than I am okay. As long as I only allow a little bit of the things that tear down godliness and the spirit of discipline and humility I am fine. As long as I only allow a little bit of discontentment in my heart…”
But then God makes us uncomfortable. He may allow us to experience consequences we weren’t expecting or things that are beyond our control, or He may even allow us to come face to face with a glimpse of our selfishness or of His greatness. He may allow our dreams and plans to crumble around us and we are faced with a future we could not have imagined and would never have picked. He may allow our efforts to bring no apparent fruit, or may allow someone else to get the credit we feel that we deserve. God could allow a thousand and one things that we could imagine - and even more things that we couldn’t - to make us uncomfortable, to wake us up, and to remind us that without Him we can do nothing.
However, as uncomfortable as He will sometimes make us, we are held completely secure in His hands. He is our Father, and He won’t drop us, or forget about us, or turn away from our cry. He is attentive to what we truly need, not just on what we would prefer. So while we may feel insecure, uncomfortable, and bothered we should never use that as a weapon against God or go running after the next pleasurable distraction. Rather, we should remember that we were made dependent by design, and maybe God is just making sure we are awake enough to feed on His abundant nourishment for our needy souls.