Yes, we’re first-time parents.
We stare at ultra-sound pictures, are mesmerized by the little whip-whap sound of that tiny heartbeat. Our heads instantly turn when a little one enters the room, as if jolted by some sixth sense. Our own baby pictures have a new significance, and every book that gives some information about unborn babies is suddenly of great value. We laugh over movements and new things that tell us our little one is alive and well, speculating about her character over the tiniest indications. My belly doesn’t seem to be growing fast enough to satisfy us, but it fascinates us at the same time with the changes that have already taken place. We long to know her. We can’t wait to hold her in our arms. We wish we could say her name in public. And we already get so much happiness from her as she is.
No wonder God calls Himself a “Father”. What a tender name. Is God for real more excited about us as we are about our little one? Does He really delight in us more than we could ever delight in our daughter? Does He know us, want us to know Him so badly that He cannot contain His feelings, but lets them spill into words and actions? Would He lay down His life so that He could keep His little ones safe from harm? Would He be willing to be hurt by our rebellion & misunderstanding, to suffer for us, just because of His longing love over us? Wow.
“Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of kindness, with bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them . . . How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I hand you over . . . My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender.” Hosea 11:3,4,8