Hear My Cry for Help

Amelia, you cry for help all the time!  I didn’t have brothers or sisters so until you came along I was pretty unfamiliar with how needy babies are.  In no way am I surprised, but the everyday reality of having a baby who depends upon you for everything is pretty stressful, exhausting, and overwhelming.  Your mom spends her entire day taking care of you and meeting all your little needs.  When I come home from work, it doesn’t take very long for me to become overwhelmed by it all.  You cry and fuss because you want your pacifier.  You cry and fuss because you have gas.  You cry and fuss because you need your diaper changed.  You cry and fuss because you are tired.  You cry and fuss because you are too hot.  You cry and fuss because you want to be moved.  Sometimes it seems like you cry and fuss just because you feel like crying and fussing.  Often it feels like you cry and fuss all day and night.  The thing that amazes me is that you are an easy baby.  Wow, babies have constant needs!

 As a result of being your dad, I have learned that I have little tolerance or compassion for the needs of others.  I think it is sometimes assumed that just because it is your baby you will naturally be compassionate toward him or her.  I don’t buy that.  Spending your days selflessly meeting the needs of another person is extremely difficult, and honestly it is something that I don’t feel like doing on most days, even the good ones.  In the moment, it is nothing but sacrifice and hard work.  You don’t do anything for me, but I have to do everything for you.  I hesitated to write about this because I was afraid it sounds really bad, but this is exactly what I have been learning for weeks now.  Right now as I type, I know that when I get home my evening will be full of your needs.  There is a part of me that wants to avoid it, but I know I have to make the choice to put myself aside and do what is best for you.

As I reflect on all of this, I realize that I am actually just like you.  I have constant needs, and I cry and fuss way more than you.  People are generally impressed with themselves, but the reality is that we are people of unending need.  Today I need food, shelter, warm clothes, rest, and emotional stability.  I need wisdom to make good choices and recognize what needs to be accomplished.  I need love and acceptance.  I need security and confidence.  I need someone to give me strength to do all the things that are so much bigger than what I can do on my own.  I have to face life every day and all the difficulties that come with that.  I whine and complain.  I hurt and want.  I struggle, and I fail.  I may not be sitting around in a diaper, but I am just as needy as you are. 

From that reality, it is interesting to imagine that I must look a lot like a little child to God.  Every moment of my day is filled with need.  In fact, my need is far greater than I come close to recognizing.  My day is filled with weakness and cries for help.  Not a moment goes by that I don’t need Him.  Not a moment goes by when I am not asking something of Him.  What is true of me is true for the billions of His people around the world.  We are children of God, and we have unending needs.  Can you imagine a day with billions of little babies screaming for your attention and help?  I only have one, and I am way over my limits!  God hears all of us needy people, but how does He respond to it all?  Does He get stressed out like me?  Does He get overwhelmed?  Does He get tired of it?  Does He want to run away and choose Himself over those who need Him so badly?  Does He arrogantly look down His nose at our inadequacies?  The short answer is NO!

See God is not like your dad.  First, He has no needs.  He is eternal and has always been fully sufficient in Himself (Gen. 1:1; Isa. 40:28).  When we cry to God, we call on one who isn’t weak like ourselves, and He never tires.  Second, He is always there and always aware.  When we cry to God, we call on the One who never leaves us (John 4:24; Psalm 139:7-12; Rom. 8:32-39).  No matter where we go or how alone we feel, He is always there.  He is spirit and not limited to these bodies as we are.  Third, He is infinitely compassionate and loving (1 John 4:8,16; John 3:16; Eph. 2:4; James 5:11).  This blows my mind!  To say that God is compassionate is to say that He is fully aware of our needs and is actually moved to meet them.  Yes, that is the opposite of your dad.  God is actually compelled to meet our needs because that is just who He is.  To say that God is loving is to say that He is always committed to what is best for us.  There is no limit here.  God’s love is infinite.  He will always want to do what is best for you.  Our needs are opportunities for Him to provide and express His care for us.  He thrives in those opportunities.  Fourth, God is selfless.  This isn’t something that people talk much about, but it is very clear that God by nature sacrifices Himself for us, those who haven’t done anything for Him.  In fact, Jesus was the ultimate servant, and He fully represented God in His person.  The sacrifice of Christ is the ultimate example of the fact that God is the ultimate selfless servant.  He selflessly gives of Himself every moment of everyday to take care of us.  He actually delights in all of this.  I find service a burden, but He never does.  It is who He is by nature.  Last, He is perfectly wise and has the power to accomplish His will (Rom. 16:27; Psalm 147:5; Jer. 32:17).  When we call upon God, we need to recognize that the needs we present Him, although huge in our minds, are not a problem for Him (Eph. 3:20-21).  He always knows exactly what should be done, and He always has the power to accomplish His will.  We can remain confident of these facts, even when it seems He is just letting us lay there in our crib screaming.  He knows how to take care of us, and His will is always perfect.  He will always fully give of Himself to lovingly cradle us and do what is best for us. 

In the Bible, people are constantly crying to God for help (ex. Psalm 18:6, 28:2, 30:2, 31:22, 88:13, 119:147).  Nothing has changed about people.  As you grow up, your needs will change, but you will always be a person who is completely in need of God.  In fact, if we don’t see those needs and allow them to drive us toward the One who can provide for us, we are blind to reality.  Every one of us is much like what I see in you ever day.  I am so thankful that God never gets stressed out by us.  He never gets tired of us, and He is always able to do what is best for us.  In fact, He always has a perfect understanding of what our needs actually are.  He never runs away, and He is actually compelled to care for us.  It is just who He is.  Night and day our needs rise before Him, and He is never overwhelmed.  There is no limit to His love and compassion toward us.  Wow, people have constant needs!

Maybe you will see God in me in some faint and imperfect way, but in the end I hope that you realize that only He welcomes every cry for help.  He is everything I should be.  He is everything you will ever need.  I pray that as you grow up I will constantly point you toward Him.

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