After the birth of my first child, a baby girl, I have slowly grown into the role of mother. I have also discovered a new paradigm in which to view my relationship with God, the ultimate Parent.
1. The love God feels for me:
It is truly impossible to capture the love and devotion that I feel for this little child. This feeling existed from the minute that she was born, how much more so with each passing day. It gives me some frame of reference to draw from in relating to the infinite amount of love that God has for me and for each of His creations.
2. God is completely concerned with my well-being 24/hours a day:
My friend once told me that since becoming a parent, she realizes that she will never be able to stop worrying for the rest of her life. I never stop feeling concern for my child, even when we are not physically together. God, too, is completely connected to His children, 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
3. We are completely dependent upon God for everything; we are helpless without Him:
First time parents are often intimidated by how vulnerable a newborn baby is. They are very fragile. One has to be so careful to support their neck and their head, and to handle them gently and with great care. They can be so easily hurt if not for the care of their parents. Their feeding, bathing, toileting, sleeping, grooming, dressing and warming needs are taken care of by their parents. There is truly not one thing they can do for themselves.
We at times create the illusion of independence, but in reality we are just as dependent upon God.
4. God feels my pain and cries with me:
The Talmud says that the sound of a baby crying is physically uncomfortable to her mother. If the baby is God forbid sick or uncomfortable, the mother suffers as much if not more than the baby.
Just as the mother cries with her precious little baby, God is the ultimate Parent who feels the pain of His children and cries with them, a million times more so.
5. Sometimes God must let us cry for our own good:
I am in the midst of trying to get my baby to sleep through the night. She wakes up frequently and cries. When I go in to her, she looks up at me with these big, pleading eyes to pick her up, and I just want to scoop her up in my arms and cuddle her. I know I could stop her crying in one instant, and I want so much to do that. (And I usually do).
But I also know logically that when I do this, she continues to wake up repeatedly until she is bleary-eyed and overtired in the morning. Sometimes a little crying is in my baby's best interest. She will then learn to self-soothe, and put herself to sleep for a well-rested night's sleep.
While I haven't yet mastered this one, I believe in the concept behind it. God sometimes needs to let us cry. It hurts Him to do it, but He can't always give us what we are pleading for.
6. God desires for us to reach out to Him:
It is the most wonderful feeing in the world when your baby starts to develop in her awareness and mobility, and she is able to reach her hands out toward you when she sees you. Parents are supposed to be selfless, but we long for recognition by our children and are gratified when we receive it.
God, too, desires our recognition of Him. He wants us to reach out to Him, to for us to feel that we can turn to Him for everything that we need.
7. God gives us the power to recreate ourselves every day:
Babies are always discovering something new. One day it is the marvel of their hands, another day it is the flexibility of their feet. They can fixate on something seemingly ordinary for hours and find the wonder and joy within it. And along with these discoveries comes tremendous growth in their visual, cognitive and motor skill development.
We, too, have the ability to make new discoveries and surpass our previous selves on a daily basis. We have power to recreate ourselves anew, and to make great gains in our spiritual development.
8. God must let us find our own way:
When my baby first started to grasp at objects, extending her hand for a toy that was slightly beyond her reach, I would be tempted to put it in her hand. But I needed to let her get it on her own, even if it was frustrating for her.
God must also let us find our own way, giving us the room to make our own decisions and figure things out for ourselves, even if it means that we get frustrated sometimes. I also imagine Him hovering over us and watching us every step of the way, with His arms extended and waiting to catch us if we fall.
9. God gives us limitless potential: Every parent looks at their little baby and wishes the world for them. That all of their possibilities are realized, their limitless potential reached.
I imagine that God looks at us the same way. We all have a unique purpose in the world. There is so much to achieve. The sky is our limit. With the love and guidance of our Father above, let us strive to reach it.