Psalm 103:13-17 The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are . . . Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children.
I’ve found great delight in watching our son-in-law, Cesar, father our grandson, Caleb.(Cesar, by the way, just became an American citizen—which means he knows more about American history and polity than I’ll probably ever know!) This often requires single-parenting as Valerie puts in her long shifts caring for other people’s children as a critical care nurse in the Children’s Hospital ICU.
Cesar’s good humor and affection for Caleb are very special. Their relationship gives me a point of reference in thinking about God as my father. Caleb doesn’t have to worry that his father might not be there for him. The precious practice of trust comes naturally.
One part of Cesar’s parenting that I find particularly endearing is the way he puts Caleb to bed. They have a routine, of course, that I learned when I recently stayed with Caleb in their home while Cesar and Val enjoyed a getaway weekend. Caleb knows he can lie down and go to sleep in peace, security, and comfort. He usually sleeps straight through the night and wakes up happy and ready for the new day.
Just like me? Hmm, not so much. Often when I lie down to sleep my thoughts bloom with concerns and anxieties. All that I haven’t had time to think about in the course of a busy day suddenly demands attention. I worry about relationships, decisions, how I’ve spent my time, and tough problems friends and family members are facing. Sadly, my default is too often trepidation instead of trust.
I’m trying to learn a bedtime routine with my heavenly father that will lead to trust. And peaceful sleep.
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Ephesians 5:1