I am having so much fun keeping a little one nicknamed “IV!” It has given me such joy to just experience the newness of a young life and how they learn, grow, and react to the life they have been given. He is so entertaining! Every little thing IV does makes me smile. At 51 I really do enjoy little ones. I think because I have been there and done that and yes…experience has taught me to “NOT sweat the small stuff!” LOL….I didn’t quite understand that when I was raising our own children.

Seriously…..when I left them in the church nursery and they squalled….I felt like I was a terrible mother…..and spent a good bit of emotional thought on the fact that they were crying…instead of realizing….it was for their greater good and mine….that I handed them over to a safe, loving environment….to be cared for and nurtured so that I could in turn be cared for, nurtured and encouraged in Sunday school and worship. I eventually realized it was for the good….but many times when raising our own kids….I didn’t take the time to enjoy…the process….simply because I didn’t know what I didn’t know….! The great “unknown!”

When two of our three children arrived home for the summer, neither were here for 24 hours before they experienced the “little one!” I have had an unexpected good time watching our kids interact with IV. Not sure if I am going to get to hold him the rest of the summer if our daughter Collins has anything to do with it!! LOL….After her arrival home yesterday….. I was only allowed to hold IV while she reached for her stuff and then she grabbed him right back from me. The funniest thing so far….is when I took IV outside to watch Thomas hit golf balls in our backyard…..IV sat mesmerized….for an hour sucking his thumb and watching golf ball after golf ball become airborne and disappear into the tall grass………!!

I finally had to go inside to get some cold drinks and left Thomas watching IV. Understand, Thomas has never done any babysitting. He loves kids and has been around young kids helping them with golf. He has gone swimming with kids in a pool, but he is 22 years old and has never been left with the responsibility of keeping an infant. I was gone for all of 10 minutes and walked back outside….he was not in a panic but was distressed because IV took a few minutes to look around and notice the “familiar”, me, was gone and he started to whimper………..

Thomas did not know what to do. He didn’t like IV being insecure and scared. He was calm but hated the fact that “IV” was unhappy and didn’t trust him to take care of him. As the day went on, I watched Thomas seek to spend more time with IV and hold him and play with him….seeking to build that relationship….to be known and recognized by IV as a nurturer and one who loved him, cared for him and only wanted good things for him. As I have reflected on this precious experience…I can only relate it to how simple having a relationship with Jesus is….but we tend to make it way too hard…..!

Let’s just make a few comparisons here…IV….did not know Thomas…Why? Because he had spent NO time with T! IV didn’t know Thomas desired his good, his comfort, his protection, and his intentions…Thomas had only great, loving intentions for IV but IV had no relationship with Thomas–no knowledge or experience. That is how I see many people treat Jesus when they don’t know Him; they don’t realize His intentions are for their “great good!”

LOVE……CARE…COMFORT…PROTECTION….. I know one thing for sure…by the end of the summer IV will trust Thomas…I believe that in the next few weeks as IV is left in Thomas’ care, the trust will grow and the whimpering will disappear. Thomas will have built a relationship of trust with this precious little soul. Just like with Jesus…His great effort for us was accomplished through His death on the cross, His resurrection and Him sending the Holy Spirit to us when we invite Him into our hearts. God has made it easy for us…His desire is not to harm us but to bring us good….we don’t know it because we don’t know Him…. we don’t trust Him because we don’t know His desire for us and His character……

Little IV…doesn’t have a whole lot of say in when he will get to see Thomas. That is up to his momma and daddy. But the fact of the matter is because Thomas loves IV, his parents will provide an opportunity for that relationship to grow. Frank, IV’s dad, is fired up about Thomas teaching IV golf one day. All Christian parents desire their kids to know Christ and all that He can teach them. I am sure as Thomas and IV build a relationship of truly knowing each other that only good will come from that time.

AS with Christ….when Christian parents seek to expose their children to Christ, or we adults seek to know Christ and build a relationship….the whimpering of life turns to joy…..because it is only then that we can truly know our Creator and realize He has Good for our lives.

I would like to end with a story from Luke 15 that many of you may know as the story of the Prodigal Son. I’ll let you read the whole story for yourself. I want to focus on verses 18 to 24. In short, the son wants to do things his way. He realizes it isn’t working so he heads home. The son really did not understand his father’s love until this scene. It begs at least two questions. Do you know the Father? If you do know Him, do you grasp the depths of His love for you?

“I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.”

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