Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his
Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
As a father of four, I’ve clocked my fair share of hours walking around with a baby in my arms: some of them bouncing hours, early in the morning with the smell of toast in the air; some of them tired hours, pacing in the dark, wondering how to administer the Vulcan nerve pinch to just get this kid to sleep.
But when you hold babies for that many hours, especially the same babies over an extended period of months, there are things you begin to notice. Like the development of reflexes. One week you’ll be footballing him in one arm and quickly kneel down to pick something up, and nothing will happen, nothing at all. But do that same thing just one week later and little dude’s limbs will go shooting out in all four directions, like Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. It’s pretty cool; I will neither confirm nor deny allowing my scientific curiosities to take over at certain points to conduct some interesting experiments…
But I digress. You see, those reflexes that are hardwired into each of us from the moment of conception––they were put there for a purpose, and that purpose is not a life of being held by our parents, but a life full of independent walking and running.
There will be times in your life when you feel like a flailing little baby. It may be in marriage, or a job, or in parenting itself. Or it may be some mishap that you would have avoided if you could.
But as we read in the verse given above, for those who have been born of God, there is another kind of impulse: the reflex that makes you call out to God as Father. But here’s the thing: that reflex wasn’t given for a lifetime of being coddled in God’s arms; it was given to you to equip you for a life on the ground.
Consider Paul, the author of this verse, or Jesus, the subject of this verse, and ask yourself which kind of life they happened to live. Should I expect anything different? As it says in Hebrews 12, the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he does so for our benefit.
So when you find yourself calling out to God as a child calls his father, know that that very reflex was given to you by the one you are calling––not for a life of being coddled and held, but a life of using your legs on the ground.
Your Father loves you, dear Christian, and he wants you to grow.
Pastor Daren Redekopp
p.s. Speaking of growing! Check out this podcast on Growing Up With Gay Parents.