Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Like a Baby Needing to be Swaddled
I'm a little overwhelmed.
This morning, everyone left by 7:40 a.m., and as I contemplated the whole day ahead of me, I was quickly overwhelmed by all that needed to be done. Not just everyday tasks like laundry or errands, mind you. Big projects, new endeavors, PLUS the laundry and errands on top of those were what surmounted to humanly impossible.
I knew I needed to start with centering my soul. It's not an option on days like this. And as I closed my eyes, listening to my Father, letting Him show me the bigger picture, I felt so much comfort. As I flipped through my memorizing notebook, I came across this that I learned last fall, from Psalm 63:
O God, you are my God.
Earnestly I seek you.
My soul thirsts for you,
My flesh faints for you,
In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
I have looked upon you in the sanctuary beholding your glory and power.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
My lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live,
In your name, I will lift up my hands.
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich foods.
My mouth will sing with joyful lips
As I remember you on my bed
And meditate on you in the watches of the night
For you have been my help.
In the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
That struck me. Yes, that's where I want to be. In the shadow of God's wings. I imagine God is comparing Himself to a majestic bird and I am the little chick, nestled against Him, hidden and safe. It's not safety like a bird in an cage, but safety against His very own body. It's intimate, between a parent and a child. Only baby chicks know what it's like to be in the shadow of someone's wing. Baby chicks who waddle away are awkward, unsafe, and flailing.
That's how I felt this morning. Inside I was flailing, looking all around me, seeing all the looming threats.
If you are a mother, you've surely seen your newborn flail and cry, needing to be swaddled. Most babies love feeling securely wrapped in a soft blanket. Most feel very anxious when left to flail.
Well, mine was not most babies.
When my daughter was just born, she often cried. The nurse in the hospital would respond by swaddling her in the standard issue pink and blue striped blanket tightly. But instead of bringing her comfort, the cotton cocoon produced the opposite result. The more my newborn was swaddled, the more she cried, working as hard as she could to wriggle her arms free. After a day or so of this wrestling, we realized that she hated to be swaddled. That's why she kept crying. She absolutely needed to have her arms free. At ten years old today, I sometimes forget that she is still my newborn; I'll pull her covers up to her neck as I kiss her goodnight, and she quickly wiggles out to free her arms. We laugh at how little has changed, and how I sometimes forget that she still does not like to be swaddled.
This hating to be swaddled is simply her personal preference, but I'm afraid at times, it becomes the condition of my heart. In my toxic self-sufficiency, I resist the Lord's comfort when I need it most.
I think this morning, the reason I melted into His arms was because I've settled for busyness too often lately. Oh, there are a lot of "good" reasons. Excuses. But I've not taken enough time to spend with my Father in several days. It's not surprising that I started to flail. I started exposing myself to attack and intimidation at life spinning around me.
How I needed to return to the shadow of His wings. How I needed my loving parent to wrap my heart tightly to stop the flailing.
He is so faithful and so willing to love us, to press us against his very own body, even when we are no stronger than newborns.
He's probably been trying to love me, comfort me, speak whispers of peace over me for days, but I was wrestling to get my arms free. (How else could I keep all those balls up in the air?)
The practice of peace is so difficult. If chaos and busyness were simply a part of our culture, I think I could more easily maintain a peace-filled existence. But it's not only our surroundings; I can't blame it all on "the world." It's my flesh that wrestles with God most. My flesh wages war against the spirit of Jesus in me. Not enough time with Him means my flesh is winning the war, and I am left a restless, helpless baby.
Well, today I'm wrapped up tight. Peace-filled, and secure in my Father's love, come what may.
And rough times may come. Certainly, they will. We are in a season of transition in our home in many ways, and I often don't know what to expect. That's all the more reason why I need to stay under that wing, stay swaddled, and sit tight.
And know in my soul, my dad's got this.
Labels: faith essentials