Week 22--May 30-June 5
2 Chronicles 29-36; Ezra 1-10; Psalm 75-78
“Yesssss” I said to a group of friends. I had just laid my six-week-old daughter down to sleep. Yep. You got it. No help needed from my wife Saturday night. I had things under control.
“Good job, dad” said one of our friends.
“You must have the magic touch” another person said. Wow. This felt good.
“I guess it must be the father’s touch that she likes and after all I have been laying her on her side. She sleeps perfectly that way for about three hours at a time.”
They looked at me like they were impressed. I smiled because it felt good.
At that point, I gave my wife a high five, sat down, and started talking with some of the guys who were pretty impressed at this point. Then the unbelievable happened. The unthinkable, unimaginable, and frustrating moment.
She cried. It wasn’t a soft mellow cry. She really cried. She screamed like someone was torturing her. She was not happy. She was not sleeping. She was irate and appalled by my actions. She needed something else. She was my little six-week-old daughter.
It was terrible. Everyone stared at me. The guys laughed. The ladies said that my touch must not have been so magic after all. I wanted to hide, not in another room but in a cave somewhere in another country. I felt my body sinking in my chair.
My wife walked back to the bedroom, soothed our daughter, bundled her up, and laid her back down to sleep. She returned to the living room where we all were. Five minutes passed. Ten minutes. Fifteen minutes.
Then they started looking again. These weren’t casual glances. These were the “you thought you were good, you moron” kind of glances. The kind that makes you want to vomit. The kind where you realize someone else just schooled you in putting your child to bed, and that someone is your wife.
Then they mocked me. First it was with their eyes, then it was with their words. “So much for the father’s touch,” one person said. “Spoke too soon didn’t you, Mr. I’ve Got it All Down Dad.” At that point, I would have changed limitless diapers if I could just take back my arrogant words and actions from earlier.
My haughty words built me up. I fueled the flame by bragging. My daughter still cried and my wife put me to shame in the parenting department. I realized the error in the way I’d been acting. I felt shame in my pride.
Then today I read Psalm 75:4-5 where the psalmist writes, “ I say to the proud, ‘Do not be proud,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not be so confident of victory! Do not be so certain you have won! Do not speak with your head held so high!’” (NET)
Ouch. My words and my actions Saturday night didn’t line up with Psalm 75 and I felt convicted. In something as simple as laying my child down to go to sleep, I let myself, my wife, my friends, my daughter, and ultimately my God down. In a simple thing, I boasted in myself and was overly confident of my achievement. It came back to bite me.
This week, I aim to boast in God’s work in my life rather than my own achievements. I want to make His name great rather than my own and that means daily taking baby steps away from recognition and toward humility. In not receiving credit, I can boast in Him Who worked, Who provided, Who cared, Who served, and Who sustained rather than in my own fleeting desires or perceived accomplishments.