This weekend I was holding Joy, fast asleep in my arms, by the lake close to our house and watching the 3 “big kids” swim and splash around. Yes in Redding summer starts in May…I don’t get to hold a sleeping baby as much any more because she can’t quite sleep through her siblings noise like she used to. She is 7 months old and has just started solid food. Somehow starting solid food is always a marker to me. Up until that point Joy has become the size she is solely dependant on me. It is crazy to think a year ago she was a wee one inside me and now here she is a laughing, cooing, drooling, teething person in my arms.
As I looked down at her I was struck at how weird it all is. I mean I can affect her growth and process dramatically. While pregnant, what I eat, drink, do affects her growth and health. A pregnant mother can even cause physical deformities through substance abuse. There is so much mystery surrounding the connection between a mom and baby’s health. Like for example How much coffee can I have before it affects her one way or another? Some doctors say you can have up to 3 shots. Others advise against coffee all together. Yet while it is true that she eats what I eat I can’t decide her hair color, eye color or height. I can’t mentally will her to grow…after conception she does that on her own. There is a process set into motion that is dependent on me and my body and yet completely independent from me. Both at the same time.
I wonder if that is sort of our relationship with God and bringing His Kingdom. In some ways we can dramatically change the outcome and yet in others it is completely independent from us. Yet without our participation could it happen at all? Without my participation Joy would not be born. Yet in so many ways I have very little to do with her existence. God works through me to bring about new life, but it is still God doing it. The flavor changes from person to person. The style changes. But it is still God. And ultimately we can opt completely out.
For example: I can’t actually heal people. But unless I pray for people to be healed God won’t heal through me. And if I don’t he won’t. But it isn’t dependent on me. Is this as crazy and confusing to you as it is me? And yet it is so beautiful and mysterious. The line between where I end and God begins becomes blurry because really I am in the process of becoming one with him. And so here I am with Joy in my arms. Up until this point all of her food and nutrition has come from me. And yet her little person is so independent from me. And I am so so so glad we chose to participate with God and that she exists. And in the same way I am so excited to partner more with God in bringing his Kingdom knowing that I have power to change things but that ultimately it does not rest on me, at all!