The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
Nothing smells quite so sour as a fussy baby who is an hour past a desperately needed diaper change. Add to that a good amount of spit-up and soggy pajamas…get the picture? My beautiful granddaughter was just this kind of messy jumble the first time she came home to Indiana to meet her family.
It was holiday time and we had all gathered in mad anticipation of her arrival. Her dad, my son-in-law, was stationed in Wyoming at the time. The trip was a long one for the new little family of three. They had decided to tackle the challenge in one lengthy journey rather than breaking the 18-hour trip in half. No big deal. They were young and very excited to introduce their 4-month old daughter, Adrianna, to her big loving clan. She was the first child of her new generation – she was the Alpha.
As the family gathered, they chatted excitedly about how wonderful it was going to be to once again have a sweet, beautiful baby girl to cuddle and hold. It had been a long, long time since there was a wee one around to spoil and love.
“They will be here soon!” it was announced after a receiving a quick call. They had just crossed the Indiana state line and were heading east. Hurry! Hurry! Where is that sweet baby? Waiting. Waiting. Everyone wanted to hold her first. Soon she would arrive!
Finally, a horn was honking in the driveway. The princess had arrived! Everyone rushed to the door to see their precious Adrianna. But, instead of a beautiful, smiling, sweet baby girl, I was handed a soggy, smelly, muddle of a child. Her diaper was an hour past changing, her clothes were a sodden tangle, and she was very, very hungry. She had globs of unidentifiable substances matted into her blond hair, at least I had thought it was supposed to be blond. As her parents handed her off to me, holding her out at arm’s length, they pleaded exhaustion and vanished into the spare bedroom for much needed rest. They had driven for 18 straight hours, stopping only for gas.
So there I was with our much awaited bundle of joy, who was anything but joyful at the moment. I whisked her off to the kitchen and quickly filled the sink with sweet smelling baby soap bubbles. As I stripped the messy clothes off my wailing granddaughter, she began to calm down. I ever so gently eased her into the soothing warm bath and she became calmer still. Soon her beautiful curly blond hair was clean again, along with the rest of her chubby baby body. After gently drying her with a soft towel, I rubbed her with soothing lotion, powdered her off (yes, I believe in baby powder), added soft jammies, a fresh diaper, and once more she was smiling her beautiful smile.
As I settled Adrianna on to my lap and began to fed her a bottle…gentle sigh, it occurred to me that this experience was much like our relationship with God. At times, our lives are a messy mess, just like Adrianna’s had been when she arrived at my house We are smelly, wet, cranky, exhausted, hungry… It seems as if the world is holding us at arm’s length to avoid getting too close to our chaos. What a stinky jumble we are.
And then God gives us yet another fresh start. He gently washes and feeds us, and restores our bliss. He knows just how to comfort our weary souls until we are once again happy in the world.
Looking into Arianna’s beautiful blue eyes had reminded me once again how great is our Lord. As I rocked her to sleep that evening, I was so grateful for the miracle of her, and of God’s love. He is with us always, even when we are at our smelly worst.
God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled.