i looked down at my little boy tonight - running nose & tear-streaked face. He was finally sleeping as i held him in my arms. He'd had a busy day . . . bouncing around in his jolly jumper, kicking about on the floor, being snuggled a little too tightly by his over-zealous 2-year old sister, and jostled through the supermarket in his front pack, amongst other activities. He was seriously short on some decent nap-time and was letting it be known that he was desperate for sleep. I'd fed him, changed his nappy, put him in his pj's & sleeping bag, and tucked him into his cot but he was still protesting. Loudly. Even having his bottom patted just wasn't going to cut it tonight. I picked him up, held him close, gently rocked him with a few 'shh, shh, shh's & smiled as i felt his body relax & his breathing become deep & even. Safe & secure in my arms, he slept.
As a child, I remember feeling safest & most secure when my dad was holding me in his arms. I don't know how old i was when i outgrew that phase but recall looking on enviously when my younger sister was still small enough to be held in that same way. I have found the last four months extremely challenging & wonder how the requirements & responsibilities of caring for my two small children can be so much greater than looking after and teaching a class of thirty ever was. And there have been times during this period when, exhausted & overwhelmed, i would have loved to just crawl into some bigger person's arms & be gently rocked with a few 'shh, shh, shh's, and, reassured that everything would be ok, fallen to sleep.
The love that i have for my children is like nothing i have ever experienced. It almost seems i have no choice in the matter; i can't help but love them. I worry about them, take pride in them, and sometimes obsess over them. i'm imperfect & maybe one day it will be more difficult than that. But I think about them more than they could know & i love them in a way that they could never love me. I think that perhaps i love my parents because of the love they have shown me, & my love for my husband is deepened by what he brings to our relationship. But my children - they don't have to do anything. I love them simply because they exist.
It is difficult to imagine someone loving me in that way. It is only in being a parent myself that i have had the smallest glimpse into the love that God says He has for me.
Ps 45 v 11 - the king is enthralled by your beauty, honour him for he is your Lord.
Zeph 3 v17 - the Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
Psalm 139 vs 5,7-9, 17 & 18
5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.17 How precious to [concerning] me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
& i guess the greater difficulty is choosing to believe those words. That they are truth & that they are meant for me. That when I'm feeling stressed & overwhelmed, Someone Greater than me loves me simply because i exist & longs to pick me up, hold me close, gently rock me in His arms, whisper a few 'shh, shh, shh's & softly sing me to sleep.
I'm enthralled by your beauty, I think about you more than you could know . . .I'll pursue you 'til you know how precious you are to Me. I've cried so many tears for you. I've watched you from a distance & sometimes closer than your skin. I breathed & you were and still . . . I'm captivated by you.