“Let’s go change your diaper,” I chirped in the sing-song voice moms naturally adopt with young babies. I carried my son upright against my chest. Six weeks outside the womb, it was his favorite place to be.
We headed toward the stairs, a frequent and familiar routine. I wasn’t distracted. I was present in the moment with my baby. Stepping up, my slipper caught a rough joint in the wood and the world flipped in slow motion. We tumbled toward the landing with no possible way to stop the fall.
Protect the baby at all costs. I’m not sure it was a cognizant thought, but instinctively I turned my body to take the brunt of the fall on my right side. I cradled my son tightly, trying to keep him from hitting the floor and my body from crushing him.
It was the most terrifying moment of my new life as a fledgling parent. My son wailed. I held him close as I stood up, and he calmed quickly. I, however, was frantic. “Oh, baby, it’s okay! Are you okay? Are you okay?” I checked him over and all was well. He returned to his normal pastimes—eating, sleeping, pooping, snuggling.
His head never even touched the floor. My hands and arms protected him.
As the adrenaline subsided and his safety became evident, my tears began to flow. My baby could have been seriously injured. I cried and prayed, praising God for his protection over my newborn.
Protect the baby at all costs. It didn’t matter if I’d be battered and bruised or if my bones would break; protecting him was more important.
The "what ifs” gave way to prayer and the Holy Spirit began to calm my heart. I remembered that God protects his children at all costs.
Taking the Fall
Maybe you’re wondering, What about the times when injury or sickness occur? What about the times God doesn’t visibly protect? My fall scenario could have gone much differently. There could have been a trip to the emergency room. And if there had been, God would still be the protector.
Let’s get on the same page: God protects His children at all costs. But sometimes He may withhold temporary, physical protection to remind us of true, eternal protection. Though His protection doesn’t always come in the form we want it to, the Lord protects nonetheless. He may not spare us from grief or trials in this life, but His view is deeper, His timeline longer.
Jesus accomplished the ultimate protection on the cross. He offered His own body to take the brunt of our fall. He was bruised and broken, but protecting His own was more important. And He protected us even unto death, absorbing the full measure of wrath that should have been hurled at us. Thus, we know the marvelous, unfathomable reality of propitiation. Because Christ made God favorable toward us, all we receive is grace upon grace.
God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his one and only Son into the world so that we might live through him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9–10)
He was forsaken so we would be welcomed. He was abandoned and rejected; we were protected and reclaimed.
Resting in My Perfect Parent
My husband and I seek to make wise decisions to keep our son safe, but ultimately God is his true protector, His only perfect parent. Fear and worries flee when I remember just how perfect He is. He never stops loving, never runs out of patience, never lacks wisdom, never makes the wrong decision.
I’m guessing all moms are beset with the “what ifs” sometimes. I’m guessing we all face fear. (I’ve known the death of my first husband, so fear of loss is a temptation always lurking at the back of my mind, threatening to lunge to the forefront at any moment.)
But if God will go so far as to accomplish eternal protection, I can trust His wise and sovereign plan for my baby. The Lord knew him before He formed him. He intricately designed all the parts of his body. He already knows the number of my son’s days (Psalm 139:13–16; Jer. 1:5). My boy has a perfect parent, but it’s certainly not me.
Therefore, I can rest. I might fear injury, sickness, or even death, but I can entrust those fears to the One who has ultimate control. And as I do, the crushing weight of doing the impossible is lifted; I don’t have to be a perfect mom. I can’t be a perfect mom. Accidents will happen. I’ll make bad decisions. I’ll sin against my child. But I can run to the God who perfectly parents me, recalling grace.
I’m still pretty new at this parenting thing, but it’s safe to say I’d die for my son. I’d run into a burning building to save him or use my body as a shield. But I won’t always be able to protect him. So, I speak truth to my heart. God eternally protects His children at all costs. Sickness, sorrow, and injury can’t nullify the everlasting protection already secured by Jesus.