Jeremiah 31:16-17 [Crying is heard.] But now this is what the Lord says: “Do not weep any longer, for I will reward you,” says the Lord . . . “There is hope for your future,” says the Lord.
I had several adventures yesterday as I cared for my grandson Caleb. At ten months, he is into everything. He managed to pull over on himself a gallon of water, just room temperature but still a surprise.
Once I changed Caleb’s clothes, I turned to cleaning up the water running all over my kitchen floor. I tried to interest Caleb in his toys in the next room, but within about thirty seconds, wanting to be where I was, he had crawled back into the water.
I couldn’t think of anything to do except put the baby in his playpen in my bedroom. Despite the toys I gave him to play with, he was outraged. It was clearly not nap time, the only reason I usually use the pack n play. Separated and unable to see me, he screamed the entire time I was mopping the kitchen floor.
As I dried things out, I had time to reflect that Caleb probably felt I had treated him unjustly; that I was punishing him. Hmm. How often do I feel like circumstances I don’t understand are some kind of injustice or punishment? And how often is God compelled to restrain me in some fashion while he cleans up a mess I’ve made?
Caleb had no way to understand that his confinement would be very brief. For the time he was there, he had no concept of hope for his future. The only way to console him was to take him out of the playpen, cuddle him close and speak reassuringly to him. He doubtless understood few of my words, just like I don’t always understand what God is saying to me. But his underlying trust in me, built over many hours of companionship since he was born, soon soothed his hurt feelings.
Perhaps one day I’ll tell Caleb this story, in a conversation about injustice and the hope we can have for our future because God’s love for us continues rock solid, even when we can’t understand our circumstances!
A Caleb selfie from yesterday. I was trying to take his picture, but he crawled over and pushed the button himself. I still don’t know how he switched it to selfie mode, because I don’t know how to do that myself yet on my new phone!