I have just completed a year-long course in Theology. I didn’t sign up for it; I didn’t even realize I was taking it until I was near the end. I have taken several theology courses throughout my academic career, but I learned more in the last year as a mother than I learned in all those college courses combined. My baby boy just turned one year old. Wow! I can hardly believe it. I thank God for my son. He has brought me so much joy and purpose. But unexpectedly, he has taught me so much about my Heavenly Father; I thank God for that too. I know that the education doesn’t stop here after one year, but I want to look back and see again the new ways I have experienced God:
Before Gabriel was born, I loved him. I felt his kick within me and I was filled with such a great love that I would have sacrificed my own life in order to bring him into the world. As soon as I saw him him and held him for the first time I was filled with such a fierce love and feeling of protectiveness that I would have moved the earth for him. If I am able to give such love (frail and incapable human that I am), why do I doubt my Father’s love for me? His love is so much deeper than I can imagine. I can see a glimpse of that now.
I would give Gabriel anything. I make sure that his needs are met even if it means that I will do without. I would not deny him a meal just because I don’t feel like preparing anything. Why do I think my Father will not provide for me the things I need? Why do I feel that I need to do everything by myself for myself so that I will not go hungry or be without shelter? My God promises that even the birds will have their needs met. He has always provided for me. Yet again and again when I feel a need, I strive to reach it on my own. Now I am learning to trust Him more.
It takes a while for Gabriel to learn some things. Of course, he is a baby so I don’t expect him to know everything about life right now. However, he really seems to have a knack for getting himself hurt. The fifteenth time that I tell him not to climb out of his high chair and sit him back down, I try to do it as patiently as I did the first time. Sometimes I fail and get a little frustrated with him for repeatedly putting himself in harm’s way. But my Heavenly Father never loses patience with me. The eighty-seventh time that I do something stupid and put myself in a position to get hurt He patiently shows me the right way again and lovingly brings me back into a right relationship with Him. Why do I feel like He has a limit to His forgiveness? Why do I feel that if I mess up one too many times He will give up on me? He won’t. He can’t. His character denies the possibility. I have a deeper understanding of His patient love now.
My son has shown me the Father in ways I never could have imagined. It is my prayer that as he grows I can turn that around and lead him in the path to his Heavenly Father. There he will find unconditional love where his earthly parents falter, God’s provision where we fail, and patience where we react sharply.
I look forward to what Gabriel will teach me in his second year. Maybe this year will be filled with less bumps, bruises, spills, and pinched fingers. Maybe this year we will be able to breathe a little easier as our Gabe grows. But knowing my son…I doubt it.