God responds lovingly to us in every situation
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From Luke’s Journal 2021 | Children of God | Vol.26 No.3
We were so relieved that our beautiful baby daughter arrived safely. Her eyes closed, wrapped up and in my arms in the operating room, a tear of both joy and relief rolled down my face as I contemplated that precious, precious moment. This tiny being, our beautiful baby daughter, was truly a gift from God, for which we were so thankful.
It still felt so surreal when we returned home the following week our little baby; and though difficult, the next few weeks passed quickly. As it is for many other parents, the initial weeks were spent with very little sleep. As we gradually bonded with our newborn baby, we learned to distinguish between and respond to her different needs, such as feeding her when she was hungry, tending to her when she was uncomfortable, and holding her when she needed to be held and embraced.
“Here, even in her infancy, I reflected on little Grace’s capacity for love.”
There were quiet moments. We were able to catch glimpses of her blissful expression whilst fast asleep. When she was wide awake, we would enjoy each other’s company, staring into each other’s eyes as I held her in my arms. Staring into the eyes of this beautiful soul, this precious child of God, I contemplated one thought as I held her in my arms: the innate desire and ability of all humans, no matter how old or young, to connect with another.
As I held my little baby, the fact that our very need for relationship and connection from the very beginning seemed so tangible. Here, even in her infancy, I reflected on little Grace’s capacity for love. Not just to receive my love to her as a mother to child, but her innate capacity as a created being to receive and experience and know of the precious love of Jesus, just like the little children who were brought to Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, and whom, on being rebuked by the disciples, were then welcomed right into Jesus’ arms.
“He [Jesus] said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Mark 10:13-16).
My husband and I had resolved to bring our daughter up to know the Lord. While our perspectives on other things like hobbies, sports and schooling differed slightly, we were in complete agreement to be intentional and facilitate every opportunity for Grace to experience Jesus, with the hope that she will come to know Jesus as her Lord and Saviour. Before she was born, I remembered discussing our hopes for our daughter. The most important thing we pondered about was how we could be sure she grew up to be a godly, humble, thoughtful and compassionate God-fearing child of God. The discussion always drew us back to two main points: our own fallibility, and God’s ultimate qualification in being the perfect Father. God is the ultimate embodiment of the perfect parent: perfect in His love, holy and perfect in character, powerful yet meek, and tempering justice with grace and mercy.
Our job as Grace’s imperfect parents, was most importantly, to ensure she knew she was loved, not just by us, but by Jesus. We hoped that she would not just hear about Jesus from us but come to know Jesus as her personal Lord and Saviour. As parents, we will tell her about Jesus, sing to her about Jesus and read with her about Jesus.
Importantly, we will first surrender our imperfect selves to be followers of Jesus, as people who love Him, who in turn, by His grace, strive to reflect His character by living out our lives as an example of how we should want our posterity to be. As we continue to be refined by Jesus, we will try and live out our lives in faith. In recognising our shortcomings as Grace’s parents, we pray that God will give us the grace that we need to continue to point our Grace to the kingdom of God; the ultimate Father, our Father in heaven; and Jesus, our Lord and Saviour.
Dr Yvonne Lai Dr Yvonne Lai is a paediatric dentist. She has been involved in clinical practice and supervision of undergraduate students in Australia and New Zealand. She is actively involved in research.