I'm a big fan of nature documentaries. There so much to discover in this world and even in those documentaries, we only get to see a mere fraction of it! There's even more out there to see and discover! One thing that always fascinates me is how some animals care for their children. Sometimes it's the father who takes on the main role, other times it's the mother, there are even some species where both parents share in the role equally.
I was thinking about how it would be to have to go out, hunt your food, and then come back to regurgitate it for your young to survive. I get queasy just thinking about that process, but even more amazed. The parents (with exception of some species) don't give up so much nutrition that they compromise their own health, and they don't give up so little that their children don't mature into adulthood. It's so fascinating! They give just the right amount for their young to live. They also give just the right amount to still be strong and able to continue caring for their young.
Parents, no matter what species, humble themselves (even for a period) to ensure the health, growth, and maturity of their children. Oddly enough, I think this is a process that I buck up against every now and then. I find myself missing my "freedom." I long for the day when I can sleep in however late I want, rather than being forced to pry my eyes open with a crowbar at 4 AM because my little one is awake and in need of supervision. Some days I find myself missing my sense of purpose. How much purpose can there possibly be in diaper changing and meal making?
Whatever I'm struggling with, the simple truth of the matter is that I give up my "freedom" for the sake of my children. I humble myself to ensure my kids' health, growth, and maturity to the best of my ability. I humble myself to shower them with love and to point them to Christ.
Read Philippians 2:1-11
It boggles my mind to imagine what heaven might be like and to think that Jesus so willingly gave it up to come here. Heaven is the place where we imagine escaping to. We imagine all the "good people" who are there who are living the life that our souls ache for. Jesus gave that up to come and walk in the messy world we call humanity.
Have you ever noticed the numerous places in any of the Gospels where we know that Jesus had the power to go above and beyond the normal capabilities of being human? I mean, humans (without the power of Jesus) don't have the power to instantly heal, to make limbs grow, give sight to the blind, cast out demons, etc. Yet, Jesus showed these every day of His ministry (plus more)! What boggles my mind is that the power that we see, is only a fraction of the power He possesses. Even further than that, He never once used His power for His own comforts. He exercised such restraint in favor of obedience to the Father and in fulfilling the Scriptures. Had He chosen to live His heavenly lifestyle here on Earth, it would be so hard to relate to humanity, wouldn't it?
Isn't that why we empty ourselves into our children? We give up our time, every ounce of energy, even all that extra brain space is spent worrying about our children! We empty ourselves completely to ensure the health, safety, growth, and maturity of our children. We empty ourselves for love.
So when you're drowning in the responsibilities of diaper changing and meal preparations, remember to do this out of the love that Jesus demonstrates towards us. When you're questioning whether or not parenthood is worth it, remember His love. When you're longing for extra (and uninterrupted) sleep, remember to take on that attitude of love and humility.
Love serves. Love gives. Love Sacrifices. Love provides. Love empties of itself.