By Wilbur Lim
“Responsible parenting is never easy.” This is a statement I’m sure most, if not all parents with children can attest to that, including myself. At the moment good news comes to one’s knowledge of being conceived, the parents (and even grandparents) will begin the elaborate preparation of things to be done for the unborn child. The expectant mother will start consuming supplements and refrain from strenuous activities as a start. The would-be-parents will go about preparing all the necessary apparatus, clothing, environment and more for the newborn. This only marks the beginning of a new chapter of life’s long journey.
In my case, after almost two years since my daughter’s birth, with God’s protection and blessings, she has now grown to be a toddler. With each passing day, I observed many new things that my daughter has started to learn and do. We rejoiced jubilantly at all of her achievements: her first words and steps, well-utilization of her logic, observation and the list goes on. However, there were learning curves that she had to go through before arriving at her achievements. I recall two specific moments that reflects this.
Once after a shower, she struggled to get her hands out from the proper openings in a shirt. My hands tried guiding hers, yet she attempted pushing them out vigorously at an awkward angle. It resulted in her being frustrated. Upon allowing her hands to be guided by me, she finally got them out and was pleased with it. Thereafter, she knew the drill and wearing a shirt became an effortless task.
In a separate incident, she was being picky about her food intake; only wanting to have milk alone. Though we know eating physical food is essential for our well-being, she did not understand it then. By refusing, it would have resulted in malnutrition and stunting (impaired growth). However, with much encouragement and persuasion (with some distraction thrown in), she began to eat solid food willingly. Subsequently, she looked forward to each meal eagerly!
I couldn’t help but see the similarities between the experience of my daughter and me; and that of us and God, our Father in Heaven.
Aren’t we like that at times, trying to wrestle and struggle through life’s challenges on our own?
Perhaps we are easily comforted only with spiritual milk, and not partaking in spiritual solid food?
Hebrews 5:12-6:3 NKJV reads, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.“
The saying by the writer of Hebrews towards the end of chapter 5 may seem harsh. However, from the two experiences which I shared, I wanted only the best for my daughter out of my love for her. I imagine that is how God shows His love to us too. He wants the best for us, but things can only be done right when we submit ourselves to follow His ways.
Proverbs 6:23 NKJV reads, “For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,”. Though the context was with regard to a piece of advice spoken to the son on the subject of adultery, we know that God’s law in totality guides us in the right path.
Psalm 119:105 NKJV reads, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” This verse is part of the longest chapter in the Bible. The chapter speaks of meditation on the excellence of the word of God. We ought to read the entire chapter, as it contains wonderful exaltations and praise to God’s word.
The experiences I shared are just a few instances that caught my attention, though it very much pales in comparison to the extent of God’s love as the Heavenly Father to us all. How can we fathom how wide, deep and all-encompassing God’s love is?
Romans 5:8-11 reads, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”
Though we were sinners and unworthy, God developed the ultimate plan of salvation, having Jesus Christ sacrificed for our sins, and in the process reconciling us back to God. There is no greater love than this!
In gratitude, let us search the Scriptures daily in our quest to better appreciate God’s love for us.
May God bless us as we continue to draw our attention towards doing His will.