Without a doubt, my very favorite part of pregnancy is feeling my son’s kicks. I remember feeling the first one on October 13th, right at about 20 weeks. Initially, I just felt tiny little flutters, so small and faint. But with each day, his movements have become stronger and more purposeful. The first thing I do when my alarm clock goes off in the morning is feel for my son. As soon as I am awake, I place my hand on my belly and wait for his first movement of the day. I look so forward to feeling that morning prod of his knee or elbow in my side. It gives me peace, reminds me that he is thriving, and brings me so much happiness. The grace and mercies of The Lord have never been so evident.
As I laid in bed one morning recently waiting for my baby boy to move, it occurred to me – isn’t this how God feels about us, His children? Doesn’t He long for us to seek Him as soon as we rise? Psalm 119:2 says “Blessed are they who keep the words of The Lord, who seek Him with all their heart.” Am I seeking Him with all my heart? Psalm 119 is filled to the brim with descriptions of devotion. “I rejoice in You.” “I hold fast to You.” “I have sought You.” I realized that just as I excitedly wait for my son to respond to my touch, God’s desire is for us to respond to His loving pursuit of our hearts. This has been His will for us from the beginning. Before we knew Him, He called us by name. Before we were born, He set us apart. My son’s precious features are still developing. He can open and close his eyes, and the tissues and cells in his ears are allowing him to hear sounds for the first time. He doesn’t know it, but he’s been perfectly encased in safety and security for the past 8 months. My heartbeat has been the steadfast sound with him at all times, yet he’s just recently become able to detect it. Like a baby, we’re often unaware of The Lord’s gentle presence with us. Even though my son doesn’t know me as his mother yet, I know him and love him profoundly. I think about him constantly, and his needs are at the forefront of my mind. I am focused on tasks for his benefit – washing his clothes, folding his blankets, and preparing a crib for his arrival. Isn’t our Father the same way toward us? Sometimes He’s so quiet, waiting for us to move and reach out to Him. But even when we don’t sense Him, He’s there. He is actively involved in our lives and He is deeply concerned about every aspect of our being. If I am this concerned about my unborn child, how much more is the God of the universe concerned about us? He is fascinated with you. You are one of his finest treasures. Your needs and desires are forever on His heart.
Just as my soon-to-be-mother’s heart longs to feel my son’s movements, our Father’s heart longs for the same; that we will move under His gentle touch, that we will respond to His loving voice. I talk to my baby boy all the time. When I’m driving to work or when I’m just resting at home, I’ll sing a little song to him or tell him about how much his dad and I love him. At 34 weeks now, he is capable of responding to my voice, and he does! By about 24 weeks gestation, babies can detect sounds outside of the womb. In fact, research shows that the sound a baby hears most clearly is his mother’s voice, because it comes from within and reverberates through the body. All other noises outside of the womb are muffled compared to the clarity with which a baby can hear the sound of his mother. My son hears my voice, and he knows it. This truth fills my heart with joy. Our heavenly Father wants the same type of relationship with us. John 10:27 is a beautiful reminder of the depth of our Father’s love for us. Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice. I know them, and they follow Me.” He knows us. Oh that we, as His children, would seek to know Him in the same way. That above all the distracting sounds of the world, we would hear His voice and know it. And like a baby in utero, that we would follow it.
Through what has been a rather challenging pregnancy, Jacob’s movements have become my joy. How I delight in this little life within me. His every motion captivates me. Often, I’ll stop whatever I am doing to simply enjoy him. And is this not exactly how our relationship with The Lord should be? He is concerned about our every motion. The comings and goings of our days are written in His book. He is enthralled with us. Shouldn’t we devote just a few minutes of our day to simply enjoying Him? My son, whom I haven’t even met face to face yet, is more precious to me than anything. I can only imagine the depth to which our Father feels this way about us. I’ll admit that pregnancy encompassed much more than I ever dreamed. I never knew that bearing a child would require so much of me during these early stages. I was unaware of the extent to which I would sacrifice my body, my energy, and much of my career before my son was born. But I was happy to do all of it. Though unexpected, I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. Jacob is my perfect gift from The Lord. I won’t get to hold him in my arms for another six weeks, yet I would do anything for him. I wonder if God designed motherhood as a way to teach us more about Himself. The similarities become more evident to me each day. He knew us before we were formed. He loved us before we could love Him back. He willingly sacrificed everything for us before we even knew His name. And just as my heart longs for the day my doctor will place my son in my arms, The Lord God waits patiently with open arms, anticipating the day that we will run to Him. In His presence is fullness of joy.