26 June 2012

Holding while Withholding

My newborn daughter had an ultrasound scheduled today at 11:05am for which she needed to fast for three hours beforehand. Unfortunately, she refused to wake up for her last possible feeding. (Her older sister and I both were trying to wake her with tickling, singing, and sitting her upright.) So when she finally did wake up, she was hungry, and I was not allowed to feed her.

It's a form of torture: to have exactly what a baby wants and to be unable to give it to her. I held her close and told her I loved her, but she responded with screams. Clearly, she did not accept my hold on her as a substitute for milk.

The experience gave me a startling picture of what my Father does for me and how I probably respond. It's a commonplace fact in Christianity that the Lord will sometimes say 'no' because it's best for us. Still, to have this illustrated in the cries of my red-faced infant drives the truth deeper than a mere catechism. But as I held her, I also remembered that God is near to the brokenhearted. His withholding does not negate His holding. When I am obstinate about a request, I often forget His role as Comforter and push away the very arms that would heal my hurt.

Holding while withholding--it's what I did this morning because I love my daughter and wanted her to have the ultrasound done. She needed it to verify that all her internal organs were functioning correctly (which they are!).

Holding while withholding--it's what my Father does for me because He loves me and chooses my best according to His viewpoint, not mine.

May I remember this the next time I'm denied a request, so that I may restrain my stubborn protests and accept His comfort instead.

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