I spent most of Tuesday night awake, first with the thunderous cries of my sick and fevered baby boy, then with real thunder.
The first did more for my sanctification than the latter. I must confess I’ve never been fast out of bed when one of the kids is sick. Somehow Shona always beat me to it. She did last night too, but by the third screaming episode, guilt beat sloth, I rolled out of bed, and stumbled along the corridor.
Getting up in the middle of the night is not so easy in your mid-forties compared to your mid-twenties – and it’s been a long time since we’ve had a baby in the house – but when I entered Scot’s room and saw the wee guy standing in the cot yelling his head off, my heart melted, my resentment evaporated, and my sympathy flowed.
With previous kids, I usually could only think of how quickly I might get them quiet and get back to bed again as fast as possible. Purely functional efficiency. A man thing.
But this time I sat patiently with him, just stroking his cute fuzzy little head; he slowly calmed down and fifteen minutes later fell asleep in my arms. But instead of the usual quick drop back into his cot (deed done) and getting myself back under the covers as quick as I could, I stayed probably another 15 minutes, maybe more.
And I enjoyed it.
Just holding, stroking, hugging, comforting, loving. Most of which he was utterly oblivious to.
I wanted to stay all night, but I was afraid I’d fall asleep and drop him!
As I pondered this strangely pleasant experience, I couldn’t help think about HOW MUCH MORE my heavenly Father enjoys comforting me, calming me down, holding me, “stroking” me, loving me – both when I’m screaming and when I’m fast asleep in His arms, both when I’m sick and when I’m well, both when I’m aware of it and when I’m oblivious to it.
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him (Ps. 103:13).
Indeed God’s pleasure in His children infinitely exceeds the greatest pleasure I’ve ever had in mine.
Lie back in His arms today and enjoy His enjoyment of you; get pleasure from His pleasure in you.
Your cries open the floodgates of His love.
And you don’t have to wait until you are sick and screaming.