His tiny 10-month-old body rests heavy in my arms as I enjoy his warmth and sense the peacefulness of his sleep. As I cradle him, taking the opportunity to look closely at his beautiful face, his pudgy cheeks, his delightfully long eye-lashes, his button nose, I am at once filled with indescribable love and also deep fear.
The love part is so obvious. Here in my arms is this little person full of life and personality and charm and confidence and ten-month-old cleverness.
But here in my arms is this little person whose life and path and future I can’t ultimately control. Because I love him deeply, I worry deeply. Will he remain healthy and strong? Will he grow into a confident and self-assured young boy? Will he develop intellectually, emotionally, socially? Will he do well in school? Will he have any musical or athletic ability? Will he one day know the blessing of love and marriage? Will he be able to have children? Will he be a good father?
And ultimately, the question that weighs the most heavily of them all, will he know Christ? Will this child one day be given a new heart and a renewed mind? Will he be given eyes of faith that see Jesus as his Redeemer?
At times, these questions swirl in the heart of a parent and worry, fear and sin prevail.
And then there are those other times when God comes and makes His presence known with such power and grace that it kind of takes your breath away.
Today was one of those other days; I sit rocking, cuddling, and as my mind begins traveling down the unknown roads of my youngest son’s future, as fear begins to swell, He gently reaches down, placing a firm but tender hand of correction, of love.
God spoke through His word, bringing scripture to mind that reminded me of His great faithfulness and His inexpressible goodness. The future is unknown, but the God who knows the future has made Himself known. The worrying heart can find rest in Him.
I sit with Josh cradled tight, remembering that he is being held in the arms of Someone else, Someone who is so good and so strong.
How can I persist in worry when I’ve been reminded of the God who upholds me? How can I be afraid when I’ve been reminded of the God whose arms extend with infinite reach and mighty strength, holding not only my own life but also those of my little ones?
There is no promise that the lives of my children will be easy. There is no promise that the hearts of my children will be redeemed. But there are promises about Him: My God is abounding in steadfast love and kindness. I will trust Him, and I will entrust my children to Him.
I look at my sleeping baby’s face and softly sing the words of an ancient, inspired lullaby.
Answer when I call,
O God who justifies.
In my stress you freed me,
Hear in grace my cries.
So in peace I lie down.
I will rest and sleep.
For, O Lord, you only,
Will me safely keep.