When I was asked to give a short devotional for the baby shower today, I agreed. I agreed for two reasons – First of all, I didn't consider that preparing a devotion for a group of adults is a little different than preparing a Bible story and craft for kindergartners. I'm used to sitting in a circle on the floor, everybody on a different color or letter. Standing up in front of adults is a little different, so don't be surprised if I pass around construction paper and Goldfish crackers before I'm through.
Second, I reasoned that I could just turn to my trusty friend Google – like I do so often – and find just the right thing to share today. When I sat down to my computer last week to do just that, I soon realized I was not going to find any messages there. Google does not have wisdom to share with you today. What I should have thought, and admittedly did not at first, is that God – not Google - would provide me with the words to say today.
When I began seeking out God's words from the Word of God instead of through the words of others, it quickly became clear what I should share today.
I attend a MOPS group every other Wednesday, and this week our speaker, whose name I don't recall, had a message that applied very clearly and directly to me and my life. It was a message of trust, of relinquishing control, and of surrender. Too often we as women and mothers (and fathers too) work so hard to keep things under control instead of relying on God.
Now, I've only been a mom for 15 months, so I'm no expert, but I can already tell you that there are a lot of things that are just plain out of my control. It started with childbirth [here's where I assured Mom-to-be that hers would go GREAT :)] Then came nights of disjointed sleep. Bouts of inconsolable tears. So much amazing joy and love, too, but accompanied by so many questions: Am I holding her too much? Talking to her enough? Is she somehow nursing too much? (If you saw Maisy as an infant, you know by her chubby little cheeks that she didn't nurse too little). Why hasn't she rolled over yet? Is she teething? Wait, that one's easy – she's always teething. Not too long ago, Maisy started waking up in the middle of the night crying again, and I wondered, “If I go to her now, will she EVER sleep through the night again??”
Now, quite suddenly, my baby is a toddler. She has opinions. Curiosity. Temper tantrums. And I'm entering uncharted territory again. I love being a mom, and soon you too will experience a different kind of love than you could ever have imagined. But I don't have all the answers, though I sometimes think I can find them on my own. My doctor doesn't have all the answers. My mom doesn't have all the answers. And certainly Google doesn't have all the answers. So what can we possibly do, but turn to God?
It starts with Genesis 1:1 -
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Then Isaiah 40:28-29 says
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
God is our creator. If He can make the earth to tilt at just the right angle to support life, then what can't He do?
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
He created us, and he created your beautiful child to come.
Psalm 139:16 says:
your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
We can trust God with our lives and our childrens' lives, with every day, with every night (no matter how long). Sometimes that's easy, and we pray and pray and pray without ceasing. Other times we maybe think we have it under control – read the right parenting manual, provide the right toys, take your child to the right doctor at the right times. But we need to remember that God wants us to surrender to him, to trust in him and not our own understanding.
So when that tiny hand wraps around your finger [here's where I teared up a little bit], and you feel that wash of incredible joy and love and responsibility, it's such amazing relief to know that God is God, and we are all his children.
I'll end with Isaiah 40:11, because it's such a beautiful image of how God cares for us.
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.