Babies, Bottles, and Our Broken Worship

Climbing the stairs to his room, I excitedly opened the door. With big, sleepy eyes and outstretched arms, he looked so cuddly in those terry cloth jammies.

The clock read 8:12, and I was so excited to see him. I was looking forward to those early morning cuddles and those silly giggles of his.

With all the sing-song sap that a mama can muster, I happily exclaimed, “Hi baby! Good morning!”

And what was his response to my excitement?

“BA-BA! BA-BA!! BA-BA!!!

With wild eyes and a shifty head, he turned his gaze from me and started surveying the room.

The truth was, he was looking for milk, not his mama.

And though I knew it probably shouldn’t sting as much as it did, it did.

After two nights of being away from him, I was excited to be together again. I had been looking forward to his excited smiles when he saw me again, and I was hoping for a squeal or three. I wanted to be with him, and I wanted him to want that too. But he didn’t. In that moment, he didn’t.

Focused on his wants and desirous of the milk, he wasn’t concerned with the one who brought the milk, he merely wanted the milk.

Trying again, I called out and even reached out to him with my arms. “Hey buddy! Mama missed you! I love you!

Batting my arms away and running to the other side of the crib, he shrieked again, “BA-BA! BA-BA!! BA-BA!!!

My mama heart sank.

Why didn’t he care that I was there? Why wasn’t he desirous of me? Why was the milk taking precedence over his mama? Didn’t I matter more than those 7 ounces of cow-produced liquid? 

As I reached for him, the initial sting started to feel a little hot with hurt and before I knew it, a bitter irritation had settled over my spirit.

I’m tired of being a vending machine. I’m tired of being a need-meeter. I’m tired of being used as a genie in a bottle of warmed milk! I want to be WANTED!

I really have no clue why it bothered me so much that morning because truth be told, it has probably happened before. But as I reached for that bottle and graciously handed shoved it in his direction, I feel like the Holy Spirit had orchestrated the entire moment…or at least my awareness of it.

As I grabbed for a clean diaper and a fresh wipe, the Spirit reached for my heart.

Jessica, I think there has been a time (or few) that you, too, have entered my Presence only to ask for my Provision.

The words were not audible but the whisper of conviction was loud in my soul. I couldn’t un-hear His whisper, and I couldn’t un-think the thought.

It was just as true for me as it was for the baby in the crib.

I, just like him, have looked past my Father and asked for the favor. I have shifted my gaze from His Presence and searched for the present. I have overlooked the Giver and sought the gift. I have neglected the Heavenly and reached for the handout.

And though God is entirely unlike me (a finite being who is easily wounded, often needy, and imperfect in ALL my ways and responses), I can’t help but think that the God of the Universe desires for us to want Him too.

Why do I believe that to be true?

Because the Creator of the Universe took the time to fearfully and wonderfully create us. Not only did He create us, but He sought communion with man and woman in the Garden. When man and woman sinned, He covered them and sent them out. Did He leave them? No. He loved them, provided for them, rescued them, delivered them, set their feet on dry ground, and covenanted with them. He led them, fed them, protected them, fought for them, and gave them an inheritance. He spoke to them, tabernacled with them, and even outlined the ways they could worship Him. He gave them judges, appointed them kings, sent them prophets, and promised a Messiah. He came to earth to be with them, performed miracles for them, discipled them, forgave them, died for them, resurrected for them, and even promised to come back for them.

From the beginning of time, He has been making a way for His people to know Him, love Him, fear Him, worship Him, believe Him, trust Him, and dwell in His presence.

16 times throughout the Old Testament, God refers to Himself as a jealous God–a God who is jealous for His Creations to worship, know, love, and delight in Him. Friends, God isn’t jealous for something that isn’t His. No, He wants all of us because we are all of His.

And though He delights in hearing our requests and though He is a good, good Father who wants to mercifully bless us with gracious gifts from His heavenly hand, He wants our worship before our want-list, and He wants our hearts before our hungry hands.

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

SEEK HIM and HE will fulfill all your eternal heart-necessities. 

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

SEEK HIM and HE will give you what He knows you need. 

John 4:14 says, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never first.”

SEEK HIM and HE will satisfy your soul with all that is necessary. 

So when we enter His presence, may we not yell our want-list into His ears; may we not forego His presence to seek His presents; and may we not neglect His Name on account of our needs. But rather, may we seek His face and do as the Psalmist commanded in 100:4, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.”

For truly, He is a God who deserves all of our delight and warrants all of our worship! And in HIM, all our needs are satisfied.

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