As mothers to be, our sweet babies are 100% dependent on us. He… OR she is encased in our womb and is connected to us by an umbilical cord that serves as a lifeline, providing him or her the lifeblood and nutrition he or she needs to survive. But soon that will change. You see, from the moment their umbilical cords are cut, our children begin their journey to independence.
I remember the very first time I laid eyes on my baby girl, I thought,
“How could I have ever left my mom and gone away to college; how could I have done that to her?” And, it seems, that in a blink of an eye, one snip of the scissors and my girl was off to college.
Through the tears in my eyes, I saw my daughter in the rear-view mirror of my car. The day I left her at college to become a nurse, almost 3,000 miles from home, was one of the hardest days of my life. My precious baby was entering adulthood. She was on a new journey going from being the cared for to being the caretaker. How did that happen so fast? I know I’m not alone in the gaping feelings of a void in my heart, and at the same time rejoicing that my girl reached this amazing milestone.
I have pondered the thought over and over: When my goal of raising my children is to teach them to be capable, independent, God-loving people, why is it so hard when they reach that point? Maybe it is because they don’t need me as much anymore, and as a mom, by nature, I am a nurturer. Maybe it is because my children were sitting on the throne of my heart, and God is waiting patiently for me to invite Him to take His rightful place.
As our children mature, they become less and less dependent on us. And as much as it pains us, we actually want that to happen.
But when we become children of God, we are baby Christians, working our way towards total dependence.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you, I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger.” 1 Corinthians 3:1-2.
“The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.” Lamentations 3:25
As believers, we willingly attach ourselves to a different kind of umbilical cord, one that provides the life blood we need to survive.
But still, we convince ourselves we must work hard for our place as an adopted child of the King, but, Titus 3:5 says, “He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.”
We strive to provide for ourselves, but I Chronicles 29:13-14 says , “Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us.”
We imagine that being good and following the rules will earn us God’s favor, but Isaiah 64:6 says “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;.” By His mercy, though, He has washed us white as snow.
We can strive. We can work hard. We can say all of the right words, but ultimately our dependence on Him is what God desires for us and from us.
As we mature as human beings, we become less dependent on our parents; as we mature as children of God, we become more dependent on our Heavenly Father. Fortunately, God our Father is wise, loving, generous and most of all, trustworthy.
James 1:17-18 says,” Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”
Sometimes I wonder why God allows me to miss my children (both married and living in different parts of the country) to the point of grief. I want to sit and chat with them about their days, their work, their spouses, what they are having for dinner and how God is working in their lives. I want to be able to hug them and be there for them. I am realizing, it is in that ache, I become more dependent on my Heavenly Father to fill the empty places in my heart.
I am coming to understand that He misses me when my heart wanders, when I only give Him snippets of conversation, when I don’t spend time embracing Him as my Father. He desires that sweet parent child relationship with me. He waits patiently for me to come to Him and receive the blessings, the wisdom, and the perfect love that only a perfect parent can give.
“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So, if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. Matthew 7:9-11
We have the perfect example of a good parent in our Heavenly Father. He is gracious. He is patient. He is wise. He is loving. He doesn’t mind our ‘why’ questions. He prepares us and equips us for the life He has called us to. He allows us our independence so that we can realize our need for dependence on Him.
Sometimes, as parents, it is easy to get into the busyness of all that is required of us. Our children capture our hearts, and we love them with all that is within us. It is easy to sit them right on the throne of our hearts. But the greatest gift you can give to your sweet baby is to love God first and show that love in how you love your spouse, your baby’s daddy or mommy.
In having children, you will face your highest highs and lowest lows. You will be tired, no exhausted beyond belief. There will be joy, laughter, challenges, and tears. The only way to survive and thrive is to be strengthened by your Heavenly Father through the spiritual umbilical cord of faith. Become totally and utterly dependent on Him.
We cannot guarantee how our children will turn out. We cannot climb their mountains or walk through their valleys for them. However, we must encourage them as they develop independence as human beings, to become dependent children of God.
Thank you, Lord, that you are a sovereign and trustworthy parent to me. Help me to honor you by surrendering all to you and becoming completely dependent on you.
How do you wrestle for independence? Do you struggle with trusting your Heavenly Father? I challenge you to make a choice to lay down control at the foot of the cross. Choose to abide.
Listen here and worship with me.
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