While working in an inner city preschool in Charlotte, NC, I had the fantastic opportunity to watch kids from different ethnicities, backgrounds, and language opportunities grow and develop in a rich environment of new experiences. At this particular time I was about nine months pregnant and at the phase where your stomach sticks out so far it looks like it might drop down to your shoes.
At the edge of my baby explosion, a four-year-old girl walked up to me. My protruding stomach stuck out at her eye level, which must be a frightening experience for anyone. “Ominous” might be a good descriptive. She stared at my belly and, suddenly, her eyes filled with tears.
In a quivering voice she asked, “Mrs. Pepper, why did you eat your baby?”
For a moment I looked down at her in silence. What on earth was she talking about? Then I realized she drew a logical conclusion. If food goes to your stomach when you eat it, then why shouldn’t a baby?
“Honey, I didn’t eat my baby,” I replied.
She smiled, turned to walk back to class, and then stopped. I knew I was in trouble.
“Then how did your baby get in your tummy?”
“God put her there,” I answered, simply.
She nodded her curly head and returned to class. Thankfully, that answer worked for the moment and maybe even for the next year. You see, she took from her five years of life experiences and interpreted the situation. Her interpretation may not have been accurate, but it made sense.
We all view the world through the lens of our own experiences. For example, during a baby ultrasound my husband sees black and white moving masses, the technician sees all the intricate lines, organs, and bones of an infant. Her knowledge and experiences change how she understands what she sees.
As kids of the Great King, we can be encouraged by this news. We trust in Someone who doesn’t see today, alone, but our entire lives from conception to our step into Heaven. He doesn’t get lost in the moment, but views the width of eternity.
One of my least favorite passages in the Bible (because I am so convicted by it) is Romans 5:3-5, “we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
Suffering doesn’t have to mean traumatic. Webster’s defines it as “to feel pain or distress”. Ever been distressed? How about when you’ve finally found thirty seconds to go to the bathroom alone and all three children in the house suddenly need your assistance at the same time? Maybe you are getting ready for work and the first two blouses you wanted to wear now have baby food, spit up, or something else on them. Those little moments are not too small. God takes the little moments of our lives to teach us His plan. He knows exactly which situations in our lives will draw us to Him the best, and which ones will conform us more into His likeness. He sees the BIG picture: where we are now and where we are going to be.
This instant might be painful, distressing, or heartbreaking, but the God who took the pain of the cross and the heartbreak of sin, loves you so much more than you love yourself. He is guiding you into a new perspective: His perspective.