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Posts Tagged ‘baby’

The bible is replete with imagery of God as our Father.  Some of the sweetest of moments are those when my spirit, stirred with love for my Creator, cries out “Abba, Father”.  Abba is an intimate Hebrew term for a father, more akin to Daddy or Poppa.  But when God created mankind He was very intentional that both sexes were fully image-bearers of God.  We see this in Genesis 1:27. ‘So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.‘ ‘So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. ‘

Genesis 1:27
https://www.bib While the imagery of God as a mother is less frequent, it is still there.  David picks up a piece of this in Psalm 17 ‘Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.’ giving us a picture of a mother bird sheltering her chicks from danger with her wings.  Jesus uses similar imagery – “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” Matthew 23:37 NIV

It’s not a stretch to realize that the best traits typically exemplified in either a father and a mother emanate from the character of God. This was impressed upon me recently as I did a photo shoot for our youngest daughter and newest granddaughter.  At 10 months old, Lilah, our granddaughter, had not been out in nature before so when we headed to a local park she experienced many new sights and sounds.  She was clingy at first not wanting to get out of Momma’s arms.  I captured one particularly poignant scene as Momma introduced Lilah to what a tree is.

 

Lilah and Christin-8

“Lilah, this is a tree.  It’s a plant – a living thing, but not like Duke, our dog, or Mommy or Daddy.”

 

Our daughter spoke gently, explaining to Lilah, what she was seeing.  She wasn’t pushy.  She wanted Lilah to learn something new without fear.

 

Lilah and Christin-9

“Look at that rough skin.  On a tree it’s called bark.  It’s okay to touch it.” 

 

Lilah and Christin-10

“It’s rough, but if you touch it gently it won’t hurt.”

 

Lilah and Christin-11

“Here. I’ll help you.”

 

Lilah and Christin-12

“Ah, See, you tried something new.  That was fun wasn’t it?!”

 

Lilah and Christin-13

Ever so gently Lilah examines the tree trunk.  

 

Lilah and Christin-14

“Look Mimi, I’m touching the tree!”

 

Lilah and Christin-15

A little girl happy to be holding Mommy’s hand and experiencing something new.

I couldn’t help but make the connection between how tender and loving our daughter was with Lilah and how God lovingly leads us.  He wants us to experience new and different.  But He is not pushy.  God has so much good in store for us, but much of that good is beyond the horizons of what we already know… beyond what currently feels safe.

  • Reaching out to people different than us…
  • serving in places we’ve never been…
  • loving without conditions…
  • giving kindness in the face of anger and hostility…
  • forgiving even when the wound still hurts and the grievance is legitimate…
  • facing fears that threaten to overwhelm us…

In each case God is with us as the gentle parent.

  • He encourages us to extend a hand… just like Jesus extended His hands for us.
  • He shows us how to serve… like Jesus when He washed the disciples’ feet.
  • He teaches us to love without limits… like Jesus does whenever we humbly return to Him after a fall.
  • He exemplifies poise, dignity, and equanimity… like Jesus when His accusers hurled lies and abuses at Him and He refused to fight for His rights.
  • He burdens us to forgive those who abuse us… like Jesus did when He whispered to His Father, “Forgive them” for His killers.
  • He tells us we need not fear… because He has overcome the world.

 

 

 

 

God is the perfect Father – the perfect parent.  He knows us intimately and loves us completely.  His desires for us are altogether good.  And His ways with us are perfect.  Put your hand in “Abba’s” hand today.  Take time to just rest in your Father’s loving embrace.  Listen to Him say, “You are my precious, precious child.  I love you with an everlasting love.  I will never leave you or forsake you, because you are mine.”

 

 

 

 

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I am a grandfather.  We have three beautiful grandchildren with a fourth on the way.  Friday night we got to spend time with our daughter-in-law and her three children.  Watching the two older boys play and making baby talk with our 10-month old granddaughter brought joy to my heart.

The next day we traveled to our daughter and son-in-law’s home to participate in a “gender reveal” party.  Since many of their friends have children, the party had a strong child’s birthday party feel.  Running, laughing, and generally just enjoying life in the crisp fall afternoon was the order of the day for the children.

The actual gender reveal part was a big hit too.  Our daughter-in-law was the only one who knew the baby’s gender.  The night prior to the party she filled a large pumpkin with powder and then sealed it up.  At the party the thirty or so guests all selected a gender they thought the baby was.  Our son-in-law was adamant the baby was a boy.  And so did about two-thirds of the guests.  At the appointed time the pumpkin was heaved high in the air and then descended to the ground in a mighty pink clouded crash.  IT’S A GIRL!

I sense the Lord emphasizing a point for me through this fun life event, especially as I watched and played with the children.  The children were carefree. They played with exuberance.  They were not mean or manipulative.  They cared for each other and enjoyed each other’s company.  And they flitted back to a parent or other relative every now and then, but soon they were back cavorting with the other children.

Our Father wants similar for us.  Our relationship with Him can be, is meant to be, one where we live in ever increasing confidence of His love and tender care.  1 Peter 5:7 tells us to “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”  He is intimately aware and engaged in our lives.  He is big enough to help us shoulder the tough times.  He is also the Father of the Bride-Groom in the wedding feast we will one day celebrate together.  In the time until we all join in this banquet, He is our loving Father who watches over us, helps us and enjoys it as we draw closer to Him.

The Lord wants us to live fully in each day trusting Him.  There is much about each day we cannot control.  Building elaborate plans and striving to control every outcome is a fool’s game.  In fact it can be more than that, it can easily become sin.  When having our way becomes paramount, we slip off the path of faith.  We take on a role we are not meant to play.

On the other hand, the more we lean into trusting the Father and obediently following His blueprint for life found in the bible, the less we are inclined to try and make things turn out our way.  The more consistently we are able to listen to the Holy Spirit speak truth and guide us, the greater our joy and confidence become.  Proverbs 3:5 & 6 can be relied upon.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

From time to time my mind thinks forward to when we have graduated to larger life on the other side of the grave.  It looks a lot like a sun-splashed afternoon awaiting the revealing of our next grandchild’s gender.  There’s lots of laughter.  There is joyful expectation.  There is activity galore, colors rich and vivid, and heartfelt conversations all around.  And in our midst is the loving Father – adored by His multiplied children all around.

We are those children.

And it makes me smile.

Be blessed today my friend. And be a blessing.

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