When you are up in the middle of the night with a fussy baby, consider the cross of Jesus Christ. Consider what magnitude Jesus suffered for us. What do we really suffer? So little in comparison. But these uncomfortable and trying experiences are opportunities to have what Philippians 3:10 calls the “fellowship of sharing in his sufferings:”
“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”
What an opportunity to learn something of Christ and His love! That he would lay down his life for me, suffer inconceivable agony
to save me when I was completely incapacitated to do anything to save myself. See the parallel with your baby – how she is
utterly dependent, helpless, and unable to meet her own needs. She cries, and you come. Jesus came and died to bring us
to God, and meet our great need.
Exodus 15:22-25 talks about the bitter water that Moses made sweet. How did he do so? He threw a piece of wood in it.
This piece of wood is a symbol of the cross. Do you have a difficult situation? Something that can make you tempted to be bitter?
See the cross where Jesus died for you. He is giving you the opportunity to fellowship with him, learn a little of his suffering, dying
to self for the benefit of another. Having that viewpoint can completely change how you view your situation and even brings glory into it! What was bitter has been made sweet! You find sweet fellowship with Jesus! You see Jesus’ love for you and declare, “Oh Jesus, how you suffered for me.” This suffering that we undergo is so small in comparison, and God uses it to work his character into us. You see his love for you. How that changes things, changes your view point, changes you.
See the cross. See Jesus. He has planned this situation for you to learn of him and have the opportunity to express his love. The night isn’t for you to rest but to work now. He has work for you to do, to care for this child as a steward for Him. And He gives the grace to do the work that He gives us to do. The strength we need we have by His grace. Go to Him. Learn of Him.
It is a great blessing to our spiritual growth to be challenged out of ourselves! And we have these cute little ministers of self-death as God’s instruments to do this: babies! This theme is touched on in 1 Tim 2:15: the sanctification that is worked in us through mothering duties. It’s unlike career work, where what we do is seen by men, receives their approbation, promotes our image, rewards us financially, etc.
Let us embrace this dying to self, then take it a step further, get past all thought of self, and just view the wonderful opportunity to minister to another, to fulfill this calling from Christ. See the tremendous dignity these little formerly-considered-inconvenient tasks take on when done as our calling from Christ!
Our Lord and Master has every right to demand anything of us at any time He wishes, does He not?
And it is our joy to respond to His call.
1. Henry, Matthew. Exodus. Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete). N.p., 1706.
© Marie-Celine Farver, RN, BSN, IBCLC, RLC