Sunday, October 5, 2008

Like a Child

“Poor little guy,” I whispered as I held my newborn grandson and gently rocked him. “You’ve been through so much, haven’t you?”

And he had. First, he’d undergone all the usual traumas associated with being born. Then all sorts of unexpected problems arose. His white blood count began to rise, indicating an infection somewhere in his tiny body. In order to be able to administer frequent doses of antibiotics to help his body fight off the infection, medical staff inserted an IV needle in his right thumb, where it stayed several days before being relocated to his foot. Medical staff also drew blood from him daily in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the antibiotics.

And if all that poking and prodding weren’t enough for the little one to handle, he had some choking/strangling episodes, which led the doctors to conclude he had acid reflux. Treatments for that were added to his daily regimen.

Then he developed jaundice, which is fairly common in newborns. To clear up that problem, he was stripped of all clothing and placed in a special bed with fluorescent lights shining on him from above and from below. In order to protect his eyes from the bright lights, he was blindfolded.

I learned so much from Michael during his five-day stay at the hospital. For example, I noticed how quickly he settled down once the current trauma was over. He didn’t lie there and dread the next one. Instead, he enjoyed comfort wherever he found it—in loving arms, soothing voices, warm blankets…

While all the adults around him were very concerned about him, he seemed to have no worries at all. He simply endured each procedure and then settled down, wonderfully oblivious to the next one awaiting him.

Is it possible for adults to relax as that baby did? Possible, yes. Probable, no! We know too much about what’s next, don’t we? And that information makes us even more fearful, especially if we know more pain is in our future.

But what if we could just relax and simply trust God to either enable us to face the next hurdle or else spare us from it? After all, we accomplish nothing by dreading what’s ahead, do we? Unless God spares us from it, we will have to go through it—whether or not we are scared to death.

It seems much more logical, to me, to say, as David did, “Lord…I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me. But I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with his mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me” (Psalm 131:1-2, (New Living Translation).

Such childlike faith doesn’t come easily or naturally to us. Therefore, we may have to do as David did and say, “…put your hope in the LORD—now and always” (v.3).

Michael, at home with his mother

In fact, we may need to remind ourselves many times daily to place our hope and our faith in the Lord, especially if we’re fearful of what lies ahead.

And whenever worry threatens to erode our faith in God, we may have to simply tell ourselves, "Stop it!” Better yet…hold a baby and notice how he rests so trustingly in our loving arms.

©2007 by Johnnie Ann Burgess Gaskill. For permission to use, please contact her.

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