Sunday, November 29, 2015

the breastfeeding mother of little faith

Breastfeeding requires a lot of faith.

For someone who likes to prepare ahead of time, it does.
For someone who likes to know what to expect, it does.
For someone who's scared of trusting God, it does.

Madeline was born a month before I started my second year of college. Of course, I had spent that summer praying she'd come on (or before) her due date. But there we were with our July-turned-August baby, and school was three weeks away.

You'd better believe I spent those next three weeks pumping out as much milk as I could. First time mom me didn't know, though, that it takes at least two weeks to establish a good supply of milk. 

Just ask Yeng: I went crazy trying to freeze milk for future use that I hesitated giving Madeline the milk fresh (he called me crazy, too). I didn't want to leave anything to chance...to God.

I didn't see the freezer filling up with milk. I saw the skimpy numbers I was pumping. I didn't live in the abundance of God's wealth. I hoarded milk like the world was ending.

At least once a day I asked God for more milk than what I already had. A bigger supply of it. You know, that "land overflowing with milk and honey" kind of supply.

Ask and you shall receive, right?

Not always.
Not when you're asking for the wrong thing.

I wanted God to change the situation. God wanted to change me.

He brought me to a passage in Exodus where I was reminded of our distant relatives--the Israelites. The people who asked God to save them, who were rescued by God, who complained about getting rescued, who then ended up walking around in circles for forty years because they were ungrateful about getting what they asked for.

Those relatives.

Turns out we're not that different.

In Exodus 16, the Israelites are griping: They're hungry. They want food. Now. Buffet-style with self-serve ice cream, please.

God, who knew they needed more than just tummy food, sent down quail and manna. But He wanted for them to do more than get fed; He wanted them to trust Him to provide. Soul food. So He made a take-only-what-you-need-for-today rule.

God promised that He would send enough food for everyone for each day, day by day (except for the Sabbath when they were commanded to rest; they had to collect twice as much the day before). He even turned the extra food people secretly stored away stinky and worm-infested.

It was unbelievable, the timing of this passage and the events unfolding in my life (God does work like that, doesn't He?). Because we had been trying to use the breast milk I had frozen, but Madeline would have none of it. It smelled sour and tasted nas-ty.

As dense as I am, I was catching God's drift.

The bottom line is this: When God promises to provide, He will provide. And more than that, He will do whatever it takes to get you to believe in His faithful provision.

I ended up throwing away my cache of frozen breast milk.
Madeline was purely breast-fed through that entire season of unnecessary worrying.
And I lived to tell the story (epic, I know).

I've doubted and been proved wrong enough to know that God is always faithful. That one time (or two...fine, it was four times) I asked for a generous financial aid package for school. He responded with abundance. That one time I confessed that I wanted Photoshop but knew we couldn't afford it any time soon. He responded with grace. That one time eight-year-old me asked for a friend because I was so desperately lonely. He responded with Himself.

When God promises to provide, He will provide. And He wants to prove it to you. Today. Right now. Every time you doubt, He wants to show you the depth of His love for you.

Because He wants you to believe in it, to bank your lop-sided, insane, sleep-deprived life on it.
Because He is trustworthy.

with much love,