Every night, sometime between 1:00-2:00am, I am awakened by a small person coming into my room. He walks up to the bed and utters just one word, “Mommy.” In response, I stretch out my arms to lift him up and place him next to me. I pull the covers up over us, wrap my arms around him, kiss his cheek, and we both go back to sleep snuggled safe and warm.
Sometimes, I also hear a voice coming from my sons’ room. This time, it is my five-year-old who is awake. He, also, calls out just a single word, “Mommy!” I quickly get out of bed and go to him. I tuck us both under the covers and wrap my arms around my child. We stay that way until he is sleeping peacefully again.
Both of my little boys know that one word is all that needs to be said. They call out for someone they know will take care of them, love them, make them feel safe and comforted. They call, and I answer with my presence. Then they can rest.
This nightly interaction with my sons has caused me reflect on the need we all have to call out to God, and to feel His presence in the midst of life’s hardships. My children call out and come to me at night just to make sure I am still there with them. We call out to God for the same reason, to know that He is with us, that He hasn’t left us alone in the darkness.
This year has been a struggle for most people, to say the least. It seems like the whole world is hurting, scared, sick, angry, or discouraged. The news feels grim. Where can we go for peace? Who can we call for comfort? Where is our hope?
And then I remember one word, all that needs to be said, when we don’t have the strength to say anything else. It is the same word that Jesus used during His moments of greatest anguish on this earth, the night before He faced the cross. Abba…Father…Daddy.
“And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.””
“And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!””
These days, when I am reading the news, my heart just cries out to God. There is pain, injustice, fear, fighting, and so much uncertainty. Everyone seems to be speaking so loudly. Who is listening? I haven’t had many words to write, or blogs to post on social media. Most days, I can’t think of anything to say other than to whisper a prayer in my own heart, “Father, Lord, Jesus…”
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
Just like my children call out to me at night, I call out to my Heavenly Father, in need of His presence. He is my comfort, my security, my strength, and my hope. I know that He cares, He loves me, and He is able to protect me and be my peace. Like my three-year-old comes to my bed for safety and rest, I go to the pages of my Bible. In the same way that I hear the voices of my children and respond, I know that God hears my voice calling to Him, and He hears yours. I trust in the knowledge that He hears the cries of all of His children, and that He will respond with the peace of His Holy Spirit, and through His Word.
“In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears.”
“On the day I called, You answered me; my strength of soul You increased.”
Maybe we don’t need to know just the right words to say. We can just call out to God from wherever we are, in the midst of whatever we are facing. Then, we can let Him wrap His loving arms around us, just like we do for our own children. Finally, we can rest, knowing that sometimes, “Father, Daddy,” is really all that needs to be said.