I got to babysit for the cutest little four-month-old baby boy recently. He cooed and smiled at me, and looked into my eyes while I sang him a song. When I fed him his bottle, he locked his chubby fingers onto mine. I figured that meant we had “bonded”, and it was oh so sweet.
But all of that went away when I changed his diaper. That, he did not like. He did not coo or smile; instead he screamed and kicked and cried real tears. His chin quivered as he looked up at me, and I could almost hear him saying, “You were so nice before! How come you’re being so mean, now? Are you a different lady than the one who was just singing to me? I don’t think she would torture me like this!”
After a minute or so, when I had a dry diaper on him, and had zipped up his cozy sleeper, he went back to smiling and looking into my eyes. I haven’t taken care of a baby in a while, so I had forgotten how quickly they vacillate between crying and smiling. Yet my demeanor had stayed the same! I had talked softly to him as I changed him, just as I had when I fed him. My intentions toward him were the same–I was caring for him.
Like a Screaming Baby
Sometimes, I act like a screaming baby. I say, “You were so kind, before! How can the God who rejoiced over me with singing (Zeph. 3:17) be the same God who’s allowing _____” (fill in the blank with whatever hardship is causing me discomfort). I kick and scream against the hand of God, convinced that it’s not His hand.
But it is His hand. Contrary to how it might feel to me, God’s intentions toward me have not changed. He is caring for me. Perhaps He sees that my sin is defiling me, and He’s gone to trouble of cleaning me up or “changing my diaper”. Or maybe this is just part of God’s parenting–one of the uncomfortable parts that all of His children must experience. (Heb. 12:6)
The differences between me and a baby are pronounced. But the differences between God and me are infinite. For God to be interested in me, to be thinking of me, and “bonding” with me is unfathomable. Yet I believe that as I look up into God’s face through the pages of my Bible, and listen to His voice through prayer, He thinks of it as oh so sweet.
As I vacillate between crying and smiling, God’s demeanor toward me does not change. He cares for me. Which makes me feel oh so secure.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[a] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me! (Psalm 139:17-18)