I was rocking my 9-month-old daughter back to sleep. She is a very calm baby for the most part; the exception is when it is time for bed. Naptime or bedtime are really the only times when she screams. This was one of those screamfests. She had woken back up shortly after being put down. I stood with her lying across my arms, holding her tight, in the near-dark room as she screamed as loud as her little lungs would allow. I thought to myself, “Baby girl, I am your daddy. I know what is best for you, and right now, it is sleep. “
Then the Still Small Voice whispered.
As I rocked back and forth with my little girl, I could hear my Heavenly Daddy saying to me, “How many times have I held you tight in my arms, knowing what is best for you and had you struggle and fight for what you wanted and thought best?”
The thought resonated with me. How often do I want to do my own thing – not caring what is really best for me? How many times have I struggled because I simply didn’t stop and listen to my Creator, the one who knows what is best of me, and obey? How many times have I cried out when the door I wanted to walk through was closed, sometimes slammed in my face, because I pursued that path without stopping to consider that God may have a better plan for me.
Oh, praise be to God for being the dad who gently guides, even as we kick and scream. Thank you, Father, for not giving up when we demand our own way and for gently leading us back to your best plan when we finally let you be the Good Shepherd. It doesn’t matter how long we blaze our own trail or how badly we miss the mark, You are always there, ready with open arms, to welcome us back. You’re even great enough to use our failures to make us stronger and to proclaim Your glory.
My little girl managed to fall back asleep, as children always do. The next morning, she woke up her usual happy self with a big smile for her dad for she knew I would be there with open arms. My prayer is that I always follow the Saviour’s example and that my little girl knows that my arms, as well as the Lord’s, are always open for her.