Apparently when babies learn to crawl, they start by scooting backwards rather than forwards. I am learning this as our daughter Finley is getting to this stage. So when she is reaching for a toy just out of reach, as she tries to move towards it she actually gets further away.
So goes the life of a baby. Every time they learn new things, it comes through struggle and frustration. I remember when she was learning to put a pacifier in her mouth all by herself; she couldn’t just place it right in her mouth. Instead she would rub it all around the area of her mouth until she got it in. Of course that was only half the battle, as once she got it in she didn’t know how to release her hand from it so when she moved her hand the paci popped out of her mouth, and thus the battle continued.
It was also like this as she learned to eat with her hands. As parents do, we would cut up food in to small pieces for her to grab as she tried to feed herself. And she did what all babies do, she plopped her hand down on the food, grabbed everything she could, and would put her hand full of food somewhere on her face. Then she would rub her hand all around her face until she got to her mouth, hoping by then that one or two pieces of food would actually make it in (with food also in her nose, ears, hair, etc.).
Every step they take to learn things is met with struggle and frustration. And in some ways, I think this is a picture of the Christian life.
The frustration of wishing we were further along than we are. Wondering why we still deal with certain things when we think we should be passed it by now.
And we wonder, is God disappointed in me? Does he get upset that I’m not as put together as I should be? Surely he isn’t pleased.
But I’m reminded of what the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:21:
God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
What Paul is saying here is that because of Jesus, because he lived the perfect life we could not live and took the punishment we deserved on the cross, all those who trust in Jesus have the righteousness of God.
This means that in the midst of our brokenness, shame, and sin, God doesn’t look at us with disappointment, but with love. He looks at us the same way he looks at Jesus. Jesus, his son.
Much like how I see my daughter. I’m not upset with her that she can’t walk yet or can’t talk, I love her right in the midst of her struggle. She is child, my daughter.
It is precisely because of Jesus that we can have the same relationship with God; that we can be his sons and his daughters.
In the midst of our frustrations and struggles, God still loves and cares for us.
That is a reason to be comforted.