Object Constancy

Ephesians 3:14-19

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

There is nothing that quite compares to the glorious feeling that overwhelmed me when I held my baby boys for the very first time. Seeing the evidence of God right there in those doctor’s hands, all squinty and crying and covered in grape jelly! When I first laid eyes on my newborn children, they were the absolute most beautiful squishy little things I had ever seen. I took them in my arms as soon as the doctors would let me. I felt the warmth of their skin against mine, held their small little hands in between my fingers, and tried to understand why God would entrust this tiny human into mine and my husband’s care. We were one, my child and I. This was the jumping watermelon I carried inside of me for ten months. My blood ran through his veins. I desired to love and cherish him as long as I lived. I desired to meet his every need with patience and tender mercy. I daydreamed of being the mother who would never yell, never lose her temper, always have a sweet song to sing like Celine Dion every night before bed…and I would always always have fresh baked cookies in the kitchen.

Well, fast forward six years and I think I score a meager C+ at being the mom I dreamed of being. I am so thankful we serve a graceful and forgiving Father!

When my children were born, I really had no sense of myself apart from them. The past year had been spent preparing for their arrival. I couldn’t even be in a different room than them without feeling guilty. And to leave them with somebody else and go on a…what is it called again?…oh, a date! Nope, I’ll leave them alone with somebody else when they are 18!

Thankfully, I did eventually chill out! But I was very much aware of the “symbiosis” between my baby and me. A newborn has no sense of self apart from his mother. This symbiotic union between a newborn and his mother comes straight from the heart of God. It’s the reason why nobody can comfort a baby like his momma. The child does not have a sense of safety apart from her presence. However, as the child grows and learns…and especially when he starts to crawl and walk!…this symbiotic union is replaced with the goal of “object constancy.” I know mommy exists even when I don’t see her. I know mommy loves me even if she is not holding me. I can tell mommy goodbye and know she will come back. Mommy is a vital part of my life, even if I am not in her presence.

I was just talking tonight to some friends about this transition most parents experience. It breaks our heart when we drop our little one off at preschool, and they cry and cry. Yet, it also breaks our heart when we drop them off and they don’t even want to give us a kiss and they go right to playing…and even have the courage to look up and say, “Mommy you can go now.” I mean, really? I feel the love! He doesn’t even need me anymore!

But, you see, this is all so so beautiful! Object constancy is explained in Ephesians 3:17 and Colossians 2:7. It is the will of God that we, as His children, are rooted and established in love, and built up in Christ. God’s desire for us is to be so aware of the great love He has for us, that we never feel alone…even when we are alone. That we feel His presence even when our circumstances tempt us to doubt Him. That we trust His provision even when we have trouble understanding why certain things are happening. That we look outside and see the beautiful sunset, and the rushing ocean, and the majestic mountains, and know that our daddy made His creation to display His splendor to us and His love for us.

I cannot go on without taking a look at my own heart. Do I live as a newborn in my faith – only trusting God when I understand and only believing He is real when I can see Him? Or, have I matured into object constancy. Do I trust God even when it is hard? Do I truly believe that I am never alone? Do I write the Lord’s words, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” on the walls of my heart? Will we continue the all too familiar cycle of seeing a problem – doubting God – watching God come through – realizing we should have trusted Him – until we see the next problem – then we doubt Him again. Or, will we take the initiate to mature in our faith and allow the Lord to bring us to a new, stronger relationship with Him?

Do You Believe?

And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord. – Luke 1:45

No unbelief made him waiver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised. That is why his faith was counted to him as righteousness.  – Romans 4:20-22

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. – Hebrews 11:6

We need to write these three verses on the walls of our heart! We need to put them on our mirrors, on our refrigerators, and in our cars. Put these verses in a place where we will see them every day, and commit them to memory. We need to be reminded of how imperative it is to take God at His Word. If we do not believe in the words and promises of God, then they have no impact in our life. Just look outside your window and see the lost people, the broken people, the confused and sick people. People who are choosing to remain in their state of death, by choosing to not believe God.

They don’t take the whole Bible as truth, because in their limited human brains, there are things in the Bible that just don’t make sense. How can a sea just separate in the middle? How can the entire earth be covered in water? How can one man death save every man for all eternity? How can crippled people walk or blind men see or little chindren be brought back from the dead? These things are just not possible.

And they are right. These things are not possible. Not in our human capacities and understanding. And they don’t happen in our lives today. Not because God has changed. I guarantee you the same Spirit that worked from Genesis to Revelation is available to us today. His power has not diminished, and He is sitting on the edge of His seat just waiting for a righteous man to believe! These miraculous, “impossible” things we read in the Bible don’t happen in our lives today…because we don’t believe. We don’t dare to take God at His Word. We don’t have the courage to pray the big prayers – you know, the ones that rely upon the power of the Almighty to have any chance of coming true.

I look around me and I see a world of sick, confused, empty captives – who choose to remain in such depravity – when the answer is staring them in the face – but they are just afraid to believe. Well, perfect love casts out all fear! And we have been ransomed by this perfect love. The invitation is there for you.

Are you willing to be fully convinced that God is able to do what He had promised?

The next time you read or hear a scripture from the living, breathing, Word of God…ask yourself:

Do I believe this? Do I take God at His word? Do I trust that what the Bible says is true? Do I truly believe that this can make an impact in my life? Do I accept that this applies to me? My friend, the Bible and the Word of God and the Truth within it is the ONLY thing you can fully rely upon, the ONLY thing that will bring life back to your weary bones, and the ONLY thing that can set you free!

I challenge you, and I challenge myself. Ask the Lord to give you a scripture. Memorize that scripture. Watch your life change.

 

 

Like a Child…

Before I finally landed into bed tonight, I went into my sons’ bedroom to catch just one more glimpse of my sleeping angels…and to make sure they are being sleeping angels and not giggling minions. I just love watching my children sleep. Since the day they were born, I could get lost in the serenity and tranquility of their faces. Somehow, when I watch my children sleep, I magically forget about all the havoc they caused that day!

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. —– Matthew 18:1-4

I stood there, and could not take my eyes off of my three year old son. Does he worry? Does he doubt? What matters most to him? All he cares about right now in his small little world is mommy, daddy, bubby, family, his froggy, his many bears (each one carefully named) and his collection of marbles. He does not stay up all night fretting about what tomorrow may bring. He does not worry about whether or not he will be fed and loved. He does not doubt his mommy and daddy’s love for him. When he calls our name, he expects us to be there. When he gets hurt, he knows to run straight to me and he knows my gentle kiss will cure any pain. And oh, I just love listening to him pray! When he prays his simple little prayers to Jesus, He truly believes that He hears him. Is this why Jesus says that children are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

Now I know that my little boy has never felt the pain of the death of a loved one, or the stress of worrying about how to pay the bills, or the overwhelming fear from the sudden loss of a job, or all the difficult things we have the privilege of experiencing as adults. But, Jesus’ word is still true. “Unless you turn and become like children…” We were children once. We were little girls dancing in our dresses pretending to be princesses – or playing in the mud and kicking the ball! – without a care in the world. But, we became adults with responsibilities and jobs and bills and children of our own to take care of. So, Jesus tells us to become like children once again and enter the kingdom of heaven with the faith of a child.

The faith of a child? What does this mean? It does not mean childishly walking through life in immaturity. It does not mean making careless decisions and expecting God to clean up the mess and save the day. It does not mean pretending that the storm we find ourselves in does not exist. It does means going to our daddy with every hurt and every tear, being honest about how we feel (have you ever noticed how honest children are about how they feel!), and trusting our daddy to ease the pain. It means not worrying about what we will eat or drink or wear, for our daddy clothes the birds in the sky and the flowers in the fields (Matthew 6:25-34). It means not allowing the “adult” things that have happened to us to harden our hearts and harvest bitterness in souls. Life is hard. It’s not easy and we live in a fallen world. But we have not been placed here without the One who will never leave us nor forsake us. The enemy will use the tough times to lie to us and suggest that we cannot take this verse in Matthew to heart. But the Lord will use the tough times to prove His love and provision for us!

Beloved, we can still approach the Lord with faith like a child. Faith that does not question her daddy. Faith that trusts that she will be taken care of. Faith that does not worry about the things that are clearly out of her hands and completely in the hands of her good, perfect, loving, sovereign Daddy. Faith that believes that her daddy really does love her and will meet her every need. My son does not question that of me.,,at least not yet! How dare we question the love and provision of the Author of Time.

Sometimes we make it too complicated. God says, “My child, trust Me.” We say, “But, God you don’t understand.” God says, “My child, I have this.” We say, “But, God this it too impossible.” God says, “I am Your provider.” We say, “But, God how will I pay the bills?” God says, “Do not worry about tomorrow.” We say, “But, God I am so afraid to face the unknown.” My friend, stop questioning your daddy and stop doubting His provision. Trust Him and find security and peace in His home. Rest in the arms of the Almighty and let him rock you to sleep. Approach the Lord Jesus Christ, and humble yourself to once again be the little three year old princess…and recklessly trust your daddy as He takes care of your every need.