"Lift Your Hands to the Lord for the Lives of Your Children"

It was the middle of the night, when Claire awoke screaming.

When she was first born, everyone said I’d learn what her cries meant. I never was able to discern a “hungry” cry from a “wet” one from a “sleepy”one, but there was no mistaking this one: It was a cry that signaled distress, fear, terror. Shrill and clear, I knew it was a nightmare.

So I put my hand on her back, hoping that might comfort her. Still she cried. I sang a lullaby over her and rubbed her back. The cries did not stop. I whispered, “Shh, it’s okay,” in her ear. Still she cried. I picked her up and rocked her, hoping that would break the nighttime spell. But still she cried.

Having run out of my tried-and-true motherly tricks, I began to pray out loud over her, “Dear Lord, please…” As soon as those words fell from my lips, her cries ceased.

I held her in awe as she quietly nestled back against me.

The Lord didn’t even make me finish my prayer, which was going to be, “please heal her.” All he required was that I think to pray and begin to do it for my daughter. He wanted to heal her, to comfort her even more than I did. Even though it was something she wouldn’t remember when she awoke, even though there wasn’t really anything wrong with her. It still mattered to him.

But, it seems, that what mattered even more was my reaction. How would I respond? He wanted me to bring this to him. To watch him love my daughter.

I was recently reading in Parenting from the Overflow and she shared this verse that spoke so clearly of this encounter:

Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord.
Lift your hands to Him for the lives of your children.
- Lamentations 2:19

I wish I would have thought to pray for her first, before going through all the other motions. But seeing how clearly nothing worked until I prayed, it amazed me even more. That love, that fatherly love for this small, spunky nine month old in a world filled with nine month olds. He stoops down to each one and comforts their little hearts, showing us all that Jesus really does love the little children of the world.

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