Yeah, I don’t have one of those.
Don’t get me wrong. Claire loves to be held…just not so much cuddled. She likes to be held upright where she can look at everything. And true, there are some moments when she will lay her head against me as I sit in the rocking chair and sing over her. I treasure those moments.
But if my daughter is upset – you know, the kind of upset where baby doesn’t know why she’s crying but mommy knows it’s the kind of cry that comes from being too tired – then she is the furthest thing from a cuddle-bug. Instead of leaning into me, Claire arches her back, pushes away from me, throws her head back and cries even harder. It’s so frustrating.
“Love, if you’ll just rest against me. I know why you are upset. I know what you need. You need rest; you need to lay your head down and relax in my arms and just let me hold you. You need to cease striving. You need to be still.”
But she refuses to be comforted. Sometimes I just have to put her in her crib and let her cry for a good five or ten minutes before she will allow herself to be consoled. I just walked out of her bedroom, where I found her covered with tears, yes, and snot, and finally ready to be comforted. If only she had laid her head down the first time I offered my love.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
I know there are a lot of ways in which we need to “be still.” We need to turn off the noise, slow down the schedule, be in the moment. But right now, I’m thinking about my daughter. I am thinking about how instead of being still when she is overcome with fatigue and emotions, she responds to my presence with confusion and resistance and striving. She doesn’t want me to put her down, but she refuses to accept the rest that I offer.
And I’m thinking about how many times my Father has wanted to comfort me and I have refused to be still. I wonder how many times He has had to leave me alone to have my pity-party or my temper-tantrum and to cry out enough tears to finally be exhausted enough to receive His love. How many times do I respond to my out-of-control emotions, or my overwhelming circumstances, or my flat-out fatigue, by throwing my head back, arching my back and crying, when my Father is closer than I acknowledge, desiring to hold me and comfort me and remind me of His power and love and authority in my life?
“Child, if you’ll just rest against Me. I know why you are upset. I know what you need. You need rest; you need to lay your head down and relax in My arms and just let Me hold you. You need to cease striving. You need to be still.”