Holiness: imitating the cries of our children

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By Jana White
Staff writer for The Daily Grace Co.

Yesterday was the perfect storm of mommy needing to work and two very needy, Super Bowl hungover kids (and by hungover, I mean they stayed up way too late!). It created a day of endless “Mommy”, “Mommy”, and “I need you.” I don’t have to try to express what that does to a mommy’s inside when the whiny calls never stop because we’ve all been there. No matter what we do, we are going to hear it again in two seconds and unless you have some kind of perfect patience, at some time or another, it’s going to get to you. Today, it got to me. In my frustration and despair, I bemoaned my inability to take much more. I found myself watching the clock and asking how much longer the day could possibly take. When the clock still showed four hours until daddy comes home, the Lord unexpectedly silenced my whiny, frustrated heart.

In that quite subtle way that He does sometimes, the Spirit drew me in and used this as an exposure of my own heart and posture to the Lord. I knew I had sinned against my kids and the Lord. I also knew that I had neglected to cling to the Lord for sustenance this day and instead, tried to take on this difficult day in my own strength. What if I were as consistent as my children in my cry to my Father? What if at every turn throughout the day, I found myself communicating with Him and calling out to Him for help, comfort, and direction. In that moment, suddenly my children’s cries seemed holier than my own.

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Although they may not know any better, in the cries of their need for me, they recognize their need for someone other than themselves. My son knows there are some light switches he cannot reach. My daughter knows that, although she becomes increasingly independent daily, there are things that she needs my help in doing such as preparing her meal or putting her hair up for dance class. There is an innate need in them that they know they cannot satisfy, so they look to one who can provide, love, and comfort them. When is the last time I’ve come to terms with my need for my Savior? Our need for a Savior doesn’t stop at our conversion – the moment we are justified, but we need Him every second throughout our sanctification. My need of Him is on full display.

The repetitious questions of “Mommy, can we have a snack?” “Mommy, is it lunch time?” sometimes seems unending. And if your child is like mine, most of the calls for “mommy” involves a need for food. I don’t blame them; I wish I could call to someone and food appear too. However, in their request, I couldn’t help but to see my own need for food—real food—and that food is Christ. For He said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me with never be thirty.” Our provision ultimately comes from the Lord. He is the true source of all of our deepest needs.

We all have physical needs as well just as my children have a physical need for food. We may question how they will be provided for, or in my case, we ignore that the need is beyond ourselves and we try do everything we can to satisfy that need. But in the humble question of my child to provide for them, I realize that my lack of communication with the Father reveals a deeper-rooted lie that I have bought into and that is to not need God. When our first response isn’t to go to the Father, we’ve misplaced our dependence and therefore, we have misplaced our understanding of who God is. After all, He is our Provider.

Why do my children come to me? Because they know I love them. They know that I will do anything for them. The same is true for the Father. Why should we go to him with our deepest longings and cries? Because He loves us, but not with a human understanding of love, but with the deepest, most perfect love that which only can come from the holy God.

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It is in knowing that the Father is the Provider and that He cares for us out of perfect love brings comfort to our souls unlike any earthly comfort we could ever experience as we sojourn here. Do you remember in Matthew 6 what Jesus tells the people during the Sermon on the Mount? He says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” We worry when we do not have. But here in the Word, we are told that we need not worry because He will provide. Just as He provides for the birds of the air, we are much more valuable than they are. Just as my children trust me to care from them, we too can trust God because He is our perfect, heavenly Father.

So may every call of “Mommy” take me to the throne of God. May it draw me in to cry out, “Father, Father, I need you.” May I find comfort in the Most High God just as my little boy finds comfort in the arms of his mommy. So, let us run to the Father just as our children do to us. Let us run to Him with nothing of our own doing. Let us run to Him with full assurance that He loves us and cares for us beyond our human understanding. And may that knowledge cause us to be ever dependent on Him daily, sanctifying us for our good and His glory.

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