You’ve never lived until you’ve wrestled a new-born baby who doesn’t want to sleep. At night anyway. Most of them snooze away during the day to keep their strength up in order to torture you at night.
Our first-born, Steve, was one of those. I can remember rocking that boy, if memory serves correctly (and it doesn’t always these days), at 1 o’clock in the morning.
His mom was rocked out and I had to take my turn, though an early alarm awaited me to head out for work. Miracle of miracles, before too long the little one finally snoozed and I walked on tiptoe to put him in his baby bed, next to our bed.
I crawled between the covers and … “waaaah!” No, say it ain’t so!
He liked to be held and rocked and he was going to have his fill of it or we were going to suffer the consequences.
Who can blame him? Most of us talk about how safe we feel, wrapped up in the arms of the Lord Jesus. We have a problem and we run into his arms. He holds us and everything is all right.
‘All right’ that is until He tries to put us down. We hang on for dear life and He pulls and twists and tries to pry our arms from around His neck so He can set us down and put us into life again.
We hang on with everything we’ve got. Who wants to fight battles when you can peer out from behind the Father’s arms and stick your tongue out at the devil?
A Safe Ship In the Harbor?
You know the problem with that scenario? Gael Attal said it well in a poem, “A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.”
All of us need to run to the Father’s arms from time to time, often even. But most of the time we need to launch ourselves into the fray and win victories in His strength.
You know how that happens? Get close. See His face and return into the combat knowing He’s on your side.
“It was not by their sword that they won the land,
nor did their arm bring them victory;
it was your right hand, your arm,
and the light of your face, for you loved them.”
(Psalms 44:3, NIV)
When you’re in His arms, you see Him up close (and this happens often when we pray and read His Word). When we see how much He loves us, we know He fights for us. So we can go out and win because we know He is fighting for us. It may seem like our “sword”–our intelligence, capacity and strength–is carrying the day, but in reality it’s the Lord who is making us effective.
We walk in His favor. This morning as I finished my study of the letter to the Colossians, I noticed something. Paul started the letter desiring God’s grace for them. He finished it the same way. Grace is God’s favor that we didn’t earn.
If God were an earthly parent He would be in the stands cheering us on. If He were an earthly parent, He’d send that bully who is chasing us, squealing home to his mother. If He were an earthly parent, He would provided you with Blue Bell ice cream as often as was feasible.
If He were an earthly parent, He’d spank you when you needed it in order to help you grow into the person you need to be. He’d hug you often but as you got older He’d expect more and more that you learn to work and be productive in life.
He expects His mature children to be working, accomplishing the mission that He put them on the earth to accomplish.
Maybe you need to crawl down from Papa’s arms and get in the battle. There are victories to be won. Or if you’re in the battle, maybe you need to look back into the face of your heavenly Father and see His visage shining with pride and love because of you.
Take courage. You will win the victory that God provides through Jesus Christ our Lord.