So this new parenting thing is going pretty good, if I do say so myself. We are settling into a pretty solid routine around here and have a happy baby to show for it. In the mean time I am learning so much about how God, the Father must feel when he looks down on his children. Such blissful love and such strong desires for them to be well and happy!
The thing He has shown me lately is the whole allowing struggle in our lives to better us and change us into what He desires for us.
We are letting Miss Grace cry herself to sleep when necessary (lately, she is so good on routine that she doesn't do much of this). Part of this involves listening to a baby who you have loved from the moment you heard of her existence cry, seemingly endlessly, until it gets suddenly silent. We do have a time limit for her crying (usually around 15 minutes) and then we go in to comfort her and help her get to sleep. She rarely goes over 15 minutes and when she does, we evaluate the situation to determine what needs to be done for her good. We do this in hopes that she will learn to comfort (soothe) herself and will be a good sleeper regardless of where we are. So far, she is sleeping through the night and we are extremely blessed by good nights of sleep as well.
This got me thinking that God has a time limit and a purpose for our struggles and suffering. The time limit is not always clear to us, just as it is unclear to Grace because she has almost no concept of time. But He has a perfect time for each trial to begin and end, it will not last a moment longer than necessary. He hears us as He listens intently from "the next room" watching the stopclock He has set for the trial. And He does it all because He has a goal in mind for us: Christlikeness. He is faithful to sanctify us and perfect us, and he uses the circumstances of life to do so.
Which gets me thinking: am I crying out to God in the midst of my trials the way that Grace cries out for me? He hears. He is listening. Am I using the lungs He formed in me to call out to Him, knowing He has a purpose for my trials?