Yesterday, Kait and I decided to bring three of the sick babies from Home Again back to Mama Faith’s house with us for a sleepover. Sarah was surprised but more than willing to help. I have to say, mothering three babies has been quite the task, but it has also been filled with joy and laughter. We somehow survived last night, and the babies actually slept through the night (for the most part). The child sleeping with me was so congested that it was like sleeping with a freight train. However, every time I looked over at her sweet face, I couldn’t be mad. These precious babies are so innocent and in need of love and attention. From this experience, I have learned more about the heart of God than I have in a long time. And since the babies are (finally) napping, I have some time to write out the insight that I have had.
After we picked up the babies yesterday, we took them straight to the medical clinic to get medicine for their coughs and colds. As I was playing on the floor with the babies (Eva, Esther, and David), I noticed that David had dirt and food all over his face. He didn’t seem bothered by it. He either didn’t realize it was there, didn’t care that it was there, or he wanted it off and just didn’t want to endure the process of removing it. It was then that I decided to take the risk of wiping off the mess. Though I knew he was going to cry and scream and thrash, I also knew that he would feel so much better after his face was clean. As I began to gently remove the caked on dirt and food, he began to fuss. It wasn’t long before he was screaming and hitting and throwing a fit. But despite his obvious defiance to my efforts, I patiently continued, knowing he’d feel better when it was all gone. Once I finally got all the grime off his face (which, trust me, was quite a job), he was much happier, just as I knew he’d be.
As I was cleaning his face, a thought popped in my head. To me, the dirt and grime on David’s face is much like the sin on our hearts. Sometimes we want it there, sometimes we don’t know it’s even there, and sometimes we want it gone but don’t want to go through the process of removing it because it’s painful, tedious, and unpleasant. But God, so much wiser than us, knows that we will be happier and better off without the mess. So He lovingly and gently begins to remove our sin from our hearts. We cry and fuss because it’s not an easy process. It hurts, and we try to convince ourselves that we are fine without God’s help; that we are fine in our sin. But gently and persistently, God continues to clean our hearts because He knows that in the end, happiness does not exist outside of Him, and we cannot experience the joy of Him when our hearts are covered with sin. Once we finally allow God to wash our hearts clean, like I washed David’s face, we realize how much better off we are. The process is never fun, but we are thankful that we serve a God who knows so much better than we do; that despite our fussing and squirming, God values our betterment over our comfort.
And the most important part is that it was done with a heart of love. It’s not that I enjoyed making David cry; it broke my heart. I was almost tempted to leave the dirt on his face so that he would stop fussing. But because I love him and want what’s best for him, I cleaned his face. I allowed him to be mad at me and defiant towards me during the process because I knew that in the end, it was for his good. And so it is with God. He shoulders our complaints and our resistance because He knows that in the end, we will be grateful for His persistence in making our hearts right with Him again.