Lessons from a Newborn, Part 3
Babies are gross. There is just no other way to describe it. It’s one thing for babies to do what they typically do: eat, sleep, cry, and take care of business. But sometimes, it’s a bit much. When those diapers say they are designed for up to 10 pounds, they are clearly talking about the babies and not the load the babies are known for making. Squirts, leaks, and explosions are common. They also rarely just make themselves messy. It’s amazing how much mess something so small can make, on themselves, on you, on their car seats, on their clothes, etc. You name it, they mess on it. And it’s gross.
And it’s not just the bottom end that is hard to handle. Their mouths are supposed to take in food, not spit it all back up. But you know as well as I, those mouths become fountains of goo. Again, time after time, you’re changing their outfits, and often your own, from the mess.
I wonder sometimes how gross we are to God. God loves us clearly, but our sin is disgusting. The Scriptures say that all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment (Isaiah 64.6).” Other versions use the word filthy instead of polluted. If our best deeds are nothing but filthiness to God, imagine just how disgusting our worse deeds are to Him. We are revolting to Him because we engage in such sinful, selfish, and sometimes sadistic behaviors. Our sin is so opposed to who God is, what He teaches for us to be, we pollute ourselves in His presence. We are like dogs licking up their own vomit (cf. 2 Peter 2.22). We are like a pig who has returned to roll around in a pit of mud and feces (ibid.) Over and over again, we are disgusting to God.
Like our babies, God loves us. He cares for us. He tenderly watches of us. He cleans us up, again and again, no matter how helpless we are to do anything for ourselves spiritually.
Babies are best when they’re quiet. I also find that I love to stare at our baby when she is sleeping. I’ve thought about why. Is it because she’s still? Is it because she is looks sweet? Is it because she is not doing what we talked about above?
Honestly, I think it is because she is quiet. There’s a lot of anxiety that goes along with listening to your baby cry. You want to fix their problems, bring them some solution and stop their worries. You are willing to bend over backwards to stop their sorrow.
Their quietness is also a time of peace and calm. Everything continues to move as it should when the baby is at peace, but when the baby is upset, so is everyone else.
There are two lessons here. First, think how much God works to bring an end to our sorrows. He has, since the beginning of time, worked on our peace. He knows the end result of sin is despair and He has sent His Son to this earth to end sin, eliminate guilt, eradicate the devil, and exalt us. God desires our peace and promises to give His children “peace which passes our comprehension (Philippians 4.6).” It is even prophesied that Jesus would be the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9.6).
Second, when we are at peace, it makes for peace in others.We are commanded to be peaceful with one another (Romans 12.18). This means that we must stop acting like babies, crying when we don’t get our way, complaining when things aren’t the way we want them to be. Instead, we should stop grumbling. We need to put away disputes (Philippians 2.14). We need to only talk in positive ways about one another so that we might make for greater peace (Ephesians 4.31).
This isn’t easy to do. We live in a world that teaches us to be babies. The world tells us to fight for what we feel we have a right. We must defend our freedoms at all cost. We must not let anyone mistreat us. We often do these things at the risk of causing disturbances in our relationships. We put our political desires over our personal relationships. We wear our hearts on our sleeves and get offended easily and often at times when it just not warranted, taking offense where none was intended.
Instead, we should “speak with love (Ephesians 4.15).” We should also hear with love, since often times this is also a problem. We should use our words for edification and encouragement (Colossians 4.6). If we can learn to pursue peace with others, we will not only be happier, but show an example of what God intends us.