At this writing, I just got off of a vid-chat with our youngest and her 4-day-old firstborn—what true beauty! Words cannot express, so why bother even trying?!?
Now this is for the less squeamish among us, but let’s get real. Breastfeeding is the BEST nutrition for a newborn, it’s the top-shelf stuff as it was intended to be. And it’s not simply about nutrition, but the closeness of the mother’s body provides physical warmth for an infant’s unregulated internal temperature. Then there’s the soothing of hearing her mother’s heartbeat, as well as the overall trust and bonding taking place that is so crucial to growth and development in later life.
My own dear mom tells me the story about when she was expecting her firstborn (my oldest brother) back in the 50’s when bottle feeding was becoming more prevalent in our society. The obstetrician asked what her plans were for feeding the baby, and she told him she intended to nurse.
“Good. That saves me a 15-minute lecture.”
It’s just amazing. So there.
Now, at four days, both mom and babe are experiencing somewhat mottled success at this age-old process. Sometimes the little one latches on like a pro, other times it’s like she can’t find her intended target and squirms and fusses, which stresses her mom out a bit.
“It’s right here! I have everything you need, I know you need it, I want to give it to you, and it’s right here!”
Sound familiar? I mean, of course, in a spiritual sense.
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
I know in my own experience, there have been times when I’ve struggled with wondering where God’s provision is, where is that love He talks about, or the wisdom, the guidance? I’m hurting! I’m scared! I’m cold! Da-gummit, I’m downright HUNGRY!
What my new granddaughter is learning is that her sweet mama is right there all the time, ready to be in intimate partnership with her, to nourish and nurture. Sure, it takes a little time and practice, some patience and persistence. Really, no surprise that, as such is true with anything of value! Seeing my daughter’s frustration borne of the deep parental love, concern, and affection for her child makes me also think of how our Father feels when we cry and thrash and doubt and look the wrong way…when what we need is right there. In Him.
Complete nutrition, bonding, and warmth.
And so I am learning to be still (please, God!) to quiet myself in His promised nearness, listening to His heart.
Because just like my precious new granddaughter won’t give up until she finds what she needs, neither will I.
“Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation.”
Philippian 4:19; 1 Peter 2:2,3 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.