Samara is almost 8 months old. I can hardly believe it! In this minuscule amount of time, she has gone from sleeping most of the day and never moving in that sleep to performing complete acrobatic tricks in her sleep. She no longer needs me to support her head, but in fact can sit on her own, crawl about the room, and pull herself up to stand on her feet, continually reaching for whatever is higher and more difficult. Whereas only a few months ago, I could lay her down without her even really seeing me (or at least not seeing me well), her eye sight is nearly completely developed and in seeing a full array of colors and greater distances, she notices when I leave the room.
Much of the time, I have simply set her down to play with her toys and gone into the kitchen (perhaps to finally get my breakfast or to attempt a minute amount of cleaning to try to keep things in order). But it doesn’t matter that I can see her because she can not see me. I discovered this about a week ago when she was just beginning to really crawl (as opposed to her army crawl that she had been mastering over the last few weeks). All I needed to do was change quickly so I could begin on dinner. I set her down on her play may, surrounded by her toys, and quickly went to my room (maybe 20 feet away…maybe). As I am pulling my shirt over my head, I begin to her her crying. Not the full-fledged, bloody murder shriek that would indicate severe dissatisfaction or pain (either is just as likely as the next with that cry), but more of a whimper. It wasn’t consistent but came in waves. So I, of course, go to find out what has upset my baby in the 30 seconds that it took me to change clothes. To my surprise, Samara had crawled to my doorway and looked up at me and smiled. She wanted to see me. She wanted me to hold her. And to accomplish that, she didn’t just cry but actually sought after me.
Much in the same way I began to wonder why we don’t respond to God in this manner. I think that when we are hurt or distressed we cry out (the same way my daughter does), but what about when we don’t see him? Now, it’s not that he isn’t there, we simply are not looking. The same way that I can see my daughter playing in my living room while I am in the kitchen, God is always there for us. When my daughter cries out, I go to her. When we cry out to our Heavenly Father, he comes to us. But why aren’t we using all of our efforts to strive to go to him?
Samara had just begun to crawl. It was still new and still difficult for her to accomplish. But when she wanted to get to me, she mustered up all of her strength and crawled the furthest distance she had ever crawled. She sought after me with everything that she was able to and all the strength she had. More than anything, more than eating, more than playing with her toys, she wanted to find me, to be held in my arms. I need to act that same way toward Jesus. I need to seek after him with every ounce of strength I have, with every resource I have available. I need to want him more than anything. More than working with the youth that I love. More than spending time with my family, which is always a top priority for me. I need to want Jesus more.
This is a daily struggle for me, as I am sure it is for many of you, I know in my mind and heart, and I’ve seen with my eyes that it is worth every ounce of effort I can possibly give.
“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God.Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
James 4:6-8 (emphasis added)