I have been wrestling with this idea for the last two years. Prior to Jack’s birth, my faith rested in the abstract. Love. Relationships. Patience. You know – character and spirituality. Faith had almost nothing to do with physical life and physical needs. When Jack was, oh, I don’t know, 6 months old I wrote this and I don’t think I ever published it:
What shocked me in the immediate weeks after having Jack was my inability to pray. I was unable to search my heart or journal my prayers the way I typically do. My prayer life before Jack consisted of soul-searching, character defining moments before the Lord. With Jack, all I could think about was breastfeeding, sleeping and eating.
As you may have read before, for over a week, every feeding with Jack took at least an hour and a half. Forty five minutes of his crying before he would latch followed by forty five minutes of my crying while he ate. When we finally resolved the latch issues, I was depleted of all energy. All of my resources went into caring for the physical needs of Jack. My own physical needs were barely met. I once had to choose between eating and sleeping. (sleep won)
I wanted intimacy with God, I really did, but I did not see how he was relevant to my life with Jack. I didn’t think God gave a lick about my physical struggle. In my mind, God cared only about abstract concepts such as love, peace, trust, hope, and joy. Relating to my struggles with breastfeeding, God probably only cared that I was a patient, joyful person. What I cared about – no, what I needed was Jack to open his mouth (without crying), latch on, and suck.
The God I knew cared only for my soul. I cared about survival. So you see we just didn’t have anything to talk about.
Can you relate to this? I am going to take the next week or two to explore God’s care for our physical needs. Please join me. And please share your experiences and insights.