Conner Baker, Unsplash

I recently spent two weeks with my daughter and son in law in Idaho welcoming my eighth grandchild into the world. She came two weeks early—already with a flair for drama—but thankfully she and mommy are safe and well.  It was a tremendous blessing to hold this precious new life, change her diapers, and gaze into her sweet face. I’m so thankful I was able to be there the way my mom and mother-in-law helped me after the birth of my two girls. Their confident mother-skills and loving reassurance ushered me into motherhood with a built in safety net.

Even with all their help, I still panicked when they were gone and my husband went off to work. It was a huge adjustment to be responsible for another human being! I was all alone with a beautiful, but needy and demanding baby.

Not long after I came home from my daughter’s house I read these wonderful visuals in the book of Psalms. Chapters 130-131 always speak to me, but this time, in light of current events, they took on new meaning.

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning” (Psalm 130:5-6, NIV).

I can understand how relieved a night watchman would be to see daylight. My years of working night desk at college and swing shift at the cannery in the summertime, were only a taste of what they experience. Exhausted from a night of constantly scanning the horizon for any sign of attack, a bleary-eyed watchman would eagerly greet the day and start looking for his replacement so he could get some sleep!

Oh to watch for the Lord like that! To strain for a glimpse of Him like a sleep-deprived soldier waiting for morning’s first light.

It wasn’t until I became a mom myself, however, that I understood what the psalmist meant in these next verses: “But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content” (Psalm 131:2, NIV).

I had always wondered: Why is a weaned child more content than a nursing baby? However, after I heard the desperate I’m-going-to-die-if-I-don’t-eat-right-now! cries of my own newborn babies, I recognized the comparative calmness of older children with their moms. When food and love are consistently available, children still need to eat, but what they crave even more is affection and to be with mom wherever she is.

Katie Smith, Unsplash

As much as I love my new granddaughter, screaming as if the world is going to fall apart if God doesn’t answer me right now is not the way I want to enter His presence. I want to yearn for Him more than the first glimpse of morning light and crave His nearness more than food. I want to come to my Savior and nestle close to Him just to BE with Him.  I have experienced my Father’s care and provision so I don’t need to cry with desperate flailing and panic. Even when I don’t understand what’s happening in the world.

These are challenging verses in these days of uncertainty and unrest. We have endured months of social distancing and quarantine. The angst of a few has turned to rage and rioting. Injustice has become an excuse to get out of the house, but not necessarily to fight for peace. Feeling fenced in and panicky, some people have kicked down stay at home laws in defiance. Others, who waited impatiently for the gates to open, now storm recklessly into the world, heedless to calls for safety and reason.

Are we still infants, or have we been weaned of our demand for instant gratification?

Apostle Paul penned these words to a church in Corinth and they also apply to us: “…friends, I’m completely frustrated by your unspiritual dealings with each other and with God. You’re acting like infants in relation to Christ, capable of nothing much more than nursing at the breast. Well, then, I’ll nurse you since you don’t seem capable of anything more. As long as you grab for what makes you feel good or makes you look important, are you really much different than a babe at the breast, content only when everything’s going your way?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3, Message). Ouch!

I’ve definitely had my moments throughout this whole pandemic, but I want to grow through this and not revert to infantile behavior. May we all cry out to Jesus, not with imperious demands for Him do our bidding, but with the earnest desire to be in His presence and trust Him.