by Amy Kemp
Called and Confident Lessons from Babes
Psalm 8:2: "Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you; toddlers shout the songs that drown out enemy talk and silence atheist babble." (THE MESSAGE)
My 19-year-old daughter brought this scripture to my attention recently. She sent a simple text message that read, "Mom, explain Psalm 8:2 to me." I didn't recognize the verse as one that I might know by memory, and I waited until my devotion time to dive in. I read the above and paused.
After some thought, I shared the following with my daughter Belle:
“Sadly, there is so much I can't explain. Not because I don't read the meaning in the passage, because I do see incredible meaning here. But there is just something that happens when a woman births a baby and holds that baby in her arms. It is without words. So, some of my understanding from this verse I can't share with you because words will do no good. Once you hold a baby (your baby), you'll know.
Mostly, what I was thinking is that we are "too big for our britches." As we grow and mature, we add words to our vocabulary and our acts of service get bigger and bolder. We might not be out to impress God or man, but the nature of maturing is that we can do more and say more, so we do. However, the most innocent (the youngest among us) can communicate needs. Infants cry. Toddlers, when they learn even the simplest of language, sing. And, the scriptures say that this sort of communication, even at this stage of life, is enough to drown out enemy talk. Why? Because we represent God's handiwork.
Infants are close to God. Immediately before their birth (up to the second before exiting the birth canal), God is hand-crafting them in their mother's womb. His fingerprints are all over the skin of a newborn! How innocent and perfect! THAT. . .that moment, that cry coming from that baby. . .that is the most powerful, wonderful, God-honoring sound. It speaks to God's power and perfection. How did that baby know that at just the right moment he or she should take a breath of air? Because God whispered, "This is your time." From the depths of that infant (yes, their mouths but also their souls), God's authority is manifested.”
After I fired those words off to her, I marveled. You see, at 47 years of age, I'm somewhere between fully raising my own children into adulthood and becoming a grandma, with the honor of watching my children raise their own. The days of infants, right now, seem far behind me, but maybe not too far into my future.
I do have a son who, though not biologically mine, is mine nonetheless. He and his wife have three children. The youngest of which is my name sake, Charlie Sue. (Sue is my middle name as well.) Charlie Sue is 11 months old, and though she lives too many miles away from me, I've had the privilege of holding her as an infant (at only six weeks old) and listening to her gurgles. Now, this many months later, I've seen her mama and daddy call for her across the room, and I've watched as she wobbled to her hands and knees, trying valiantly to figure out how to crawl. I've seen her respond to those who call out to her. She hasn't mastered navigation yet, but she tries. Oh, does she try.
As a called and confident woman, here are a couple of take-aways from all of this. First, don't get too big for your britches. Keep your language and your acts of service simple. Take cues from toddlers and infants. Even their noises and shouts drown out atheist babble.
Second, look for the One who loves you and is calling to you. Find your way to Him; army crawl if you have to, but get to Him. Just like a babe learning to crawl and then walk and then run, remember the voice calling to you is the voice of the One who loves you. He will never leave you. You can have confidence in Him. He is calling you. Rest assured, He sees you trying to find your legs beneath you, and He is smiling with arms wide open.
There's just so much to learn from babes, isn't there?
By Niki Packer
Who are the most arrogant human beings on the planet? If you've ever spent time around middle school boys, I think you'll agree that they are arguably the most conceited group of people alive. At least in my household this is true. It cracks me up to listen to my son and his friends in the van after practices, comparing their great sports moments and telling each other about their awe-inspiring stats and plays.
But I’ll share a secret with you. Their arrogance comes from a lack of confidence. They don't yet know who they are or where they are going. They have a taste of independence, but not enough experience to back it up, so they find themselves displeased with this person in the mirror whom they barely recognize. Their arrogance is actually a cover-up for self-doubt.
And as adults we're the same. We also have the tendency to cover up self doubt when we are looking for identity outside of the Savior.
I was reminded recently that Moses was the most humble man on the face of the earth (Num. 12:3). This made me wonder where his humility came from and how I can foster that humility in my own life. Moses was raised in the palace of Egypt as the grandson of Pharaoh. But he was an adopted Hebrew, so he never quite fit in with the royal crowd. He had a speech problem, which likely caused him a lifetime of self-doubt. He killed a man in anger and vengeance. Are these the reasons for Moses' great humility? Did he think so poorly of himself that he was humble? I don't think so. "True humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less" (Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life).
I believe Moses' humility came from confidence in his relationship with the Father. "The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend" (Ex 33:12). He had nothing to prove to the world because he was intimate with the One who had proven Himself faithful over and over.
We're all able to have the same humility that Moses had, and it comes from the confidence of being with the Father. When we KNOW our place and identity in our Savior, we can be fully confident, and that confidence breeds humility. Today I encourage you to spend time with your Father, asking Him how He sees you. I pray He gives you a beautiful picture from His eyes. I think it will bring you a confidence that will foster humility.