I’m excited to welcome Hartlee Kirk back to Hungry For More this week. If you read her last post, she was awaiting the birth of her son. Anderson finally arrived and the new family is doing great. So great in fact, that their story will once again touch your heart.
I stood there, eyes brimming with tears, trying to sing the words without being able to produce a sound.
“Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think You’re like.”
Anderson was asleep in his car seat beside my weary feet, only three days old and already joining us at church. As the congregation sang the words of Chris Tomlin’s “Good Good Father,” my silent lips smiled, pushing a tear to the brim of my heavy eyelid.
From the moment I heard it on the radio, this song has been one of my favorites. But at 9:01 PM on April 28, 2016, it took on a relatable meaning with the birth of our son, Anderson.
After an exhausting labor and delivery, my husband declared “It’s a boy, we have a son!” All I could do was cry, both with disbelief and joy, as the nurse laid his tiny, pink, screaming body on mine. (And I’m crying again at the remembrance of his birth… mom-hormones.)
As I held the miracle in my arms instead of my belly, I studied every detail that had been hidden from my sight for forty weeks and four days. I loved him immediately. He had done nothing in life voluntarily or consciously to benefit me, but as Jordan and I studied his squished features, we already longed to nurture, protect, comfort, and know this little creature.
Using Jordan and me, God had created this precious human life for us to raise. What a responsibility!
But from Anderson’s personality type to his future wife, his Maker knows all every minutia. I’m a little jealous!
Through Anderson, I see God’s perspective of us a little clearer. Because of the immediate, unconditional love I felt toward my son, I have a clearer focus of God.
I recently took our little guy to his two-month appointment with the pediatrician. His fists clenched as tightly as alligator jaws while the nurse administered three routine shots. Never in my 24 years have I heard a sadder cry. When she finished the procedure and applied the Minion bandages, my arms scooped him up quickly. We swayed back and forth, back and forth, soothing the tears swelling in both of our eyes.
Even though he could not understand, I told him “I love you and allowed this temporary hurt to keep you healthy. This pain will end soon. I’m helping you through this, and your body will be stronger afterwards. Mommy loves you, and is hurting too.”
Hmmm…. Is this sounding familiar?
Allowing someone to go through pain in order to come out on the other side better off?
Hello, gospel story.
God the Father sent Jesus the Son to suffer death on a cross so that believers could be saved from the penalty of our sins. The thought of allowing Anderson to be undeservingly tortured physically, emotionally, and spiritually on behalf of the guilty leaves me lost for words. The goodness in God’s fatherliness is incomparable, and I am humbled. This act did not make Him a mean Father, but a gracious One because He knew it would be the only way to reconcile His children back to Himself.
“You’re a good, good Father. You’re good, good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am”
A “good, good parent” can be identified by children knowing they’re loved deeply. Unfortunately, I am going to make decisions Anderson may not understand, and the idea of hurting him pains me terribly. But as a parent, I realize that kids may not always enjoy our immediate decisions, but we still make them because of love. True love cares beyond the now, and considers the implications of future minds, bodies, and souls.
Similarly, we may not understand why God allows certain circumstances. “When will I get the perfect job?” “Why did they die so young?” “Why is this relationship so difficult?” But there’s a reason for the momentary pain, and He knows what’s on the other side of the situation.
“You are perfect in all of your ways to us”
God is a good, good Father. We are loved by Him. And because of my love for my son, I’m beginning to understand just how powerful that love actually is.