On a trip to Llandudno when Ava was just 4 weeks old, we found a car parking space just outside the town along the coast. We’d parked here before and never thought anything of it.
As we set off walking with Ava, about half way into the walk we soon realised we’d parked further away than we thought, and as soon as we realised that, Ava started crying. At this age, when she cries for a feed, it’s a full on ‘I need my bottle NOW’ cry. There’s very little leeway between hungry and full on crying! We knew she was due a feed but had hoped to reach a shop or café by now to change and feed her. Sure enough, we finally reached the shops and went straight into the first one we could find.
So I changed her and then went to meet Carl in the café. I took one look at his face and saw that look- ‘I’ve left the bottles in the car’ he said. Now we’re parents we’ve begun to recognise certain looks and are getting pretty good at interpreting what they mean. It’s funny how the looks have shifted from a cheeky loving and romantic smile to a ‘she’s done a poo’ smile, or, I forgot the bottles’ look in this case.
With Ava now becoming restless as she does before a feed (the only time I might add) we raced back to the car. Carl raced ahead of me as he can walk much faster at the moment- I’ll get my pace back pretty soon! Plus, he’s 6”3 for goodness sake and has extremely long legs! Of course he can cover more mileage than me!
So as I lagged behind, I could hear Ava’s cries ever so clear, becoming more and more desperate and rather loud. Another thing we’ve noticed is how in tune we are, able to differentiate between cries. There’s the; ‘that’s not even a cry’, cry, the ‘bottom lip tremble’ cry, the ‘back of the throat cry’ which then escalates into the ‘dreaded bright red faced, rattling, heart wrenching’ cry that goes through both Carl and I. This girl has some lungs! Sometimes she looks like she’s about to explode. These cries are few and far between by the way- we don’t intentionally let our daughter get to this stage- just to clear that up!
One thing was certain though, Carl heard her cries. He did everything and anything to get back to the car to meet her need. He practically wept with her. He felt awful for leaving the bottles in the car. His heart ached for her. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him walk so fast.
He would’ve parked closer to the town and paid the price that needed to be paid in parking if he could’ve, just to meet her need and save her from the crying.
Although the car was quite far away- the bottle was still coming. Carl tried to calm and soothe Ava, reassuring her that the bottle was on its way. He loved on Ava the whole time as he raced back to the car so she knew he was still there even though the bottle seemed like it was never coming. He repeatedly said ‘I hear you, it’s coming, I hear you, I know what you need.’
The waiting was hard but the need was going to be met.
It’s as I watched Carl; this loving, devoted father He’s become and how he would do anything for his daughter, that I was gently reminded of our Father God.
I totally believe that He hears your cries. It may seem like it’s taking forever for Him to respond- trust me, I’ve felt that way on many occasion. You feel like he doesn’t hear you- and it doesn’t even have to be where you’re weeping (although for me, I am definitely a weeper!) however it is that you express your emotions; your cries as it were- let me encourage you that He does hear you.
Like with Carl and Ava; the breakthrough, the solution, the healing, the blessing, the answer to prayer, the restoration, the miracle- it’s on it’s way. It may seem like you’re waiting forever, it may feel like He hasn’t heard you- but He has and it’s on it’s way. I totally believe that. It may not always be the answer you want- don’t hear me wrong; we don’t always get what we want. Being a good father is knowing what’s good and what’s harmful for your children, not giving in even when they plead with you for it- but it will be an answer you’ll be thankful for and will some day look back on, grateful it wasn’t the answer you wanted. Or you’ll see how through your cries, through the trials you’ve faced- how you’ve been used; perhaps you can now help others?
Like Carl and Ava, I believe God comforts us in the midst of our cries. He rocks us in His arms, reassuring us that He’s there; encouraging us to hold on to Him, to wait patiently, to trust that He knows what our need is, and the best way to meet that need.
Just as Carl would’ve paid any price right there to have been closer to the car, Jesus paid the price for us. He paid it so that you could have this relationship with God; a relationship where you can come to Him at your most vulnerable state and cry your heart out if you need to. A relationship where you can tell him your darkest secrets from the depths of your heart, your insecurities, your needs and He will hear. He’ll comfort you in the waiting, giving you the strength to hold on, giving you a hope for the future.
Psalm 18:6 The Message (MSG)
A hostile world! I call to God, I cry to God to help me. From his palace he hears my call; my cry brings me right into his presence—a private audience!
Psalm 34:15New Century Version (NCV)
The Lord sees the good people and listens to their prayers.
Psalm 3:4 The Message (MSG)
But you, God, shield me on all sides; You ground my feet, you lift my head high; With all my might I shout up to God, His answers thunder from the holy mountain.
You will experience all these blessings if you obey the LORD your God:
“And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”