Learning How to Take Care of Babies and Spiritual Parallel to God
I moved back in with my sister the day after Thanksgiving (last Friday) and I have been gaining valuable experience and learning how to take care of babies. Surely this means that the day will come when God blesses me with a husband and then a baby of my own and I shall remember these experiences so I can take care of my own. I know how to make my nephews stop crying most of the time. When they are not hungry and don’t need to be changed, sometimes they just want to be held and fussed over and other times they are sleepy when they start wailing. One of my nephews doesn’t mind sleep and he is usually calmer than my other nephew but he (my other nephew) does not like to go to sleep and he fights it until the end. When I am available to help, I usually pick him up and rock him gently – unless he just ate, in which case I do more walking and a little bit of gentle swaying than actual rocking. Within a few minutes, he is fast asleep! I’ve also gotten pretty good at making them smile and last night, when his mommy was carrying him upstairs to bed, I called his name to say goodnight and he looked right at me and smiled (my other nephew was already upstairs sleeping since it was after 10:30pm and way past their bedtime but the one who dislikes sleep had had a long nap yesterday afternoon apparently so he wasn’t ready for bed until nearly 11:00pm). Usually I have to say something in a certain tone or do something silly to earn a smile from him, but last night I got one for free simply for telling him goodnight. I love both of my nephews! But learning how to feed them, how to change diapers, and how to get them to stop crying when they aren’t hungry and don’t need changing are valuable learning experiences that I am thankful to God for. I am thankful to God every day for my sweet, adorable, loving nephews who are nearly 7 months old and will be crawling soon! One of them is already trying and has been since just before he turned 6 months (November 16th he turned 6 months but apparently about a week before then he started trying to crawl) and the other one has just been watching. I suspect he watches to see if his (fraternal) twin brother does it successfully first before trying it. But I am sure they will both be crawling soon, then talking soon after. Today I learned how to feed them both solid baby food and the fussier one who doesn’t like sleep but usually loves to eat was a bit harder to feed and almost half of it ended up either on his bib or on my shirt. That’s okay though, he liked the food he just tends to be messy when he eats whether it is solid food or baby formula (milk).
If you think about it (and Apostle Paul kind of alludes to it), there are some new to the faith of God who are like babies. But there are also some who have been in the faith for a long time and have forgotten the basics and Paul felt the need to point it out in Hebrews 5:12-14, where he says, “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.” The way to prevent this from happening is to devote time daily to Bible Study and meditation (quiet time thinking about God’s word and listening for God to speak to you specifically about something either through his word, with a still small voice within you, an impression or idea in your mind, or other ways God communicates with us such as conversation with others). We must also go to church every Sunday willingly with the intention of fully participating in the worship of God in the singing, in the communion, in the giving of tithes, and in hearing God’s message and then applying it to your life. Fellowship with other true believers is also extremely important. Live your life each day for God doing God’s work including helping others in need when you have the ability to help them or finding someone able to help if you are unable to provide the kind of help they need. When you live your life for the Lord and your daily goal is to please God then you will not grow spiritually dull, but will continue to grow spiritually and you will blossom into the person God created you to be.
My nephews are growing up fast (already trying to crawl and trying to speak), and although all babies and all people (especially babies-young adults) in general no matter how old they are tend to mature at different times in their life and some faster than others, but we should all try to be more like my nephews, but with our spiritual growth and work hard daily to continue to grow and mature in our faith in God and in the service we give to God. You should not be where you were a year ago, 5 years ago, 10 years ago, today in your faith. You should be stronger and more mature in your faith and able to do more now to serve God than you were able to do a year ago, 5 years ago, or whenever you first started believing in God (and were first baptized and new in walking in God’s ways). If you are stuck in the same place, then take a moment to figure out why (are you neglecting daily Bible study for 30 minutes or more? Are you letting doubts creep in or letting naysayers (nonbelievers who are not living their dream or following God’s ways) influence you, whether consciously or unintentionally and without realizing it?) so that you can take steps to move forward with God’s plan for you. Make time for Bible study daily, surround yourself with other true believers who are children of God and who can guide you along God’s path with godly advice and godly wisdom, ignore naysayers and do not focus on your circumstances, but instead keep your eyes on the Lord and his promises at all times. In Matthew 14, starting at verse 22, while Jesus had went away to pray privately his disciples ran into some trouble out on the water in their boat because of an unexpected storm. Jesus saw them in trouble and walked on water towards them to rescue them and when Peter saw Jesus and thought it was a ghost and Jesus said not to worry because he is here, Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” Jesus said, “Yes, come,” so Peter climbed over the side of the boat and started walking towards Jesus with his eyes on the Lord, but then he saw the strong wind and waves and got scared and took his eyes off of Jesus and almost drowned. Jesus caught him and led him back to the boat where then both climbed back into it. The point of this story is to show that Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the storm instead of his Lord and Savior, so he almost drowned because of lack of faith. If he had the kind of faith he should have had after all the time he spent with Jesus then he would have kept his eyes on Jesus and would never have begun to sink. I work daily at doing all I can to strengthen my faith in God and to show my faith with my actions. I do daily Bible study, I spread God’s word online and talk about God to others on the phone or in person when the other person opens the door to a discussion about God (and some strangers do it to, which always pleasantly surprises me). When God gives me the opportunity to help someone else or to bless someone, I take it. I try to make sure I don’t live an idle life by wasting time but strive daily to make sure everything I do is for the Lord and in alignment with his will and with his particular plans for my life. It is important for all believers to do this.
Peter (yes the same Peter who almost drowned in Matthew 14 because he didn’t have enough faith, whom Jesus grabbed so he wouldn’t sink) tells us in 1 Peter 2:2-3, “Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.” Just like my nephews crave their milk and also some solid food now, we must crave spiritual milk and spiritual solid foods which come from reading and hearing God’s word. On days you struggle with your faith, think of a time God was really good to you (and there must be more than one time when he was) and remember that this same God who was good to you before has even more amazing things in store for your future if you will continue to believe and stand firmly in your faith. Remember also that it is darkest before the dawn, so when you feel the enemy’s worst attacks, that is when if you decide to stand firm in your faith and stand your ground, you will see amazing blessings from God (and some of them will be life-changing and turn your situation around in your favor) and you will praise God for lifting you out of the mud and mire (taking you away from your enemies and rescuing you from your troubles) and placing you on solid ground.