Noelle Kirchner, M.Div., is a Presbyterian minister and mother of two boys. As they wrestle on the floor, she enjoys wrestling with her manuscripts. She writes for Huff Post Parents, the TODAY Show Parenting Team, and has been a repeat guest author at in(courage). You can find her on her blog, where she writes about faith and parenting, and on Twitter and Facebook.
I have been thinking about dependency lately. Why is it easier to feel and express our dependency on God when we are going through hard times? It isn't as if we forget God when things are going well, but I guess prayers in trouble seem to flow off the tongue a little easier than praises do sometimes.
Every morning my older son comes into my room to find me. Because he has been getting up earlier and earlier, he is frequently my alarm clock. Well, the other day I had a morning appointment and had to get up before he woke up. I went downstairs and made a cup of coffee.
It wasn't long before I heard the pitter patter of his feet on the hardwood floor upstairs toward my room. I knew he wouldn't find me in bed and was expecting him to come downstairs looking for me. But, I heard nothing.
After about five minutes of hearing nothing, my mom instinct prompted me to go upstairs. Too much quiet spells trouble - had he gotten into mischief? I climbed the stairs and went into my room only to find him standing quietly by my side of the bed.
"I didn't know where you were," he said. He had just been standing in the same place the whole time. He wasn't crying. He wasn't up to mischief. He just didn't know what to do, because his day had never begun that way. His day begins with finding me.
As I looked into his wide eyes, I could see traces of fear that were melting away as I walked toward him. His blank expression turned into a smile, and he ran toward me for a hug. I felt his appreciation and love for me anew, and I was grateful.
Sometimes we are so busy pouring juice, packing lunches, and rushing out the door as moms that we miss important realizations. We may miss just how much we mean to our children. And we may forget just how dependent upon us they really are - just as my son had surprised me.
Seeing his dependency reminds me of our dependency on God. If we're honest, we may not always be aware of the extent of this dependency either. I wonder what it would be like if we approached each day with my preschooler's eagerness to find our Heavenly Parent - to hear his word and allow him to tend to us and orient our day.
Jesus once said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (Matthew 19:14, NIV). I think Jesus was alluding to the holy nature of dependency. The children were coming to him unencumbered. I wonder what it would mean to God to see us embracing that same attitude whole-heartedly, instead of going about our daily rhythms preoccupied...And I can only imagine the blessings that would be ours if we did.
If you liked this post, you might also like Runny Noses and Providential Care. It tells us more about the character of the God whom we are dependent upon.