Friday, October 16, 2015

A Father's Lap

My five-month-old Simon is getting more and more mobile with each day that passes. I remember that with my first born, it seemed to take f - o - r - e - v - e - r for him to reach his gross motor milestones. With this one, it is happening way too fast. He’s rolling from his back to his stomach. He’s inching his way forwards and backwards. I saw him do a plank for a half a second today. And this week, he discovered he could roll from his stomach to his back. I feel like we’ve reached the point of no return. This little boy is going to move, whether the rest of us are ready for it or not.
Today he was sitting in my love’s lap, Dave doing what he could to keep him entertained while I got ready for the day. And this is what I saw: Simon squirming and wiggling with every developing muscle in his body, working his hardest to make his way out of that lap.

My dear friend Sherry, who has lots of experience raising kids and even more experience walking with the Lord, looked at Simon in my arms this past summer (when he was much more prone to cuddling), and was reminded of the way that God loves to hold us close. Ever since that day with her, my mind finds its way back to this picture of God holding us close, the way a parent holds their newborn baby—like there is nothing more precious, nothing more important for His arms to be doing than holding us close to His heart.
And how often do we respond in the way that a five-month-old might? We feel confident in our own newly-found abilities, we have our own ideas of what’s best for us, and we have the urge to get out. And God, in his wisdom and love, allows us to go… to wiggle… to squirm our way away from his lap. I’m sure we look ridiculous to him, as we slide down onto the ground and find ourselves in a position from which we don’t know the way out. Simon ended with his belly on the carpet and his face flat against Dave’s hairy leg. 

What follows is beautiful. 

Simon looked up at us with expectant eyes as if to say, “Can you get me out of here?” Of course, we did. And of course, God does. Every time that we think we know better than he does, he rescues us. Every time that somewhere else seems more appealing than his lap, he’s there to draw us back into his arms. Every time that we look up at him with those eyes that beg, “Can you get me out of here?” he reaches down in grace and love and pulls us up.

But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
    and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.
Psalm 73:28

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