1 Peter 2:2-3
“Like newborn infants, long for pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation – if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
Have you ever seen a baby crawl toward something interesting that was also potentially dangerous? When my kids were small, just learning to crawl I was always keeping watch seeing what they might go for next. Where is the shiny thing that would catch their attention.
God often speaks in parables in our dreams. I had a dream last night that shows the troubles we face when we remain babies in Christ and neglect to learn from our experiences. In the dream, I was sitting on the floor in a room with an infant who was learning to crawl. He had his back to me and was facing a partially open door that was cracked open. His eyes lit up and offered he went! He started crawling toward it eagerly. Knowing danger loomed, I reached out to grab him, thinking, “Someone could come through that door, push it open from the other side and it will hit the baby.”
Did the baby ask for my approval to crawl away to the open door? No, in fact, the baby’s gaze is NOT on me, but on the door of temptation. I quickly tried to grab the baby, but he was too fast, too eager to get to the door. In the next moment, some men came through the door, pushing it open and sure enough, the baby got bonked on the head.
I and the men gathered ‘round the baby and looked down on his poor little head. “Oh, boy,” I thought. “This wasn’t the first time this baby had done this same thing.” There was a red spot and even scars where “baby that-away” had been bonked before, and he obviously hadn’t learned YET. I relayed to the concerned men that the pediatrician said that the baby’s head would be able to heal, even with multiple bonks because his skill tissue was still soft, but it was surely a sad sight! Would he learn? I hoped so! Thanks be to God that we can continue to grow and heal.
In the scripture above, we read, “…long for pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” Even when we get a taste of God’s goodness, it’s important that we keep our eyes fixed on him and allow him to guide us with the gaze of this eye, as Jesus looked to his Father continually to see what he was doing. We must learn how to navigate each new task or destination with discernment and must CHOOSE to keep our focus on Jesus.
“… long for pure spiritual milk…” What is pure spiritual milk?
I thought of this example.
God teaches us about how to grow up through the parable of human infant bonding and development. A baby is of nursing age has is not able to focus beyond the distance from the breast to his parent’s face. Beyond that, it will all be fuzzy and unclear. As they grow, however, the things in the room around them become SO interesting as they can see farther and farther away. Have you ever tried to feed a distracted baby? They are constantly turning their heads away, turning away from the source of the milk. Sometimes they lack a full meal because of this. Time just runs out.
How are we like that in our walk with Jesus? We take in a little bit of Jesus, soak in a little bit of the Spirit, or try to read a little bit of scripture, and then we get distracted. What distracts you?
My dream baby, baby that-away, was tempted by a shiny light coming through an open door, so he turned his back on me and went off on his own. Do we do that in our walk with God? Sometimes we forget to include God in our decisions, or we just vier away a little bit and entertain a thought that pulls us down. Jesus said in John 15:5 “…Apart from me, you can do nothing.” In the dream, I could not save the baby from its own ignorant idea. I was not in control of the baby. The baby had free will and would reap the consequences of his decision. Fortunately, the “doctor” in the dream said he could heal and hopefully would learn eventually not to run off without wisdom.
If want to mature, we have to fight that distraction and choose to stay in constant contact, in deeper intimacy with Christ. In order for Jesus to see what his Father was doing, he had to have his eyes on him always.
To remain in the peace of God, we must dwell in His presence, feed on his words, not be just snackers. If you’ve been a parent, you may have had a young child who preferred to “graze” between meals and then not eat their dinner at dinner time. As parents, we have to be sure to teach our kids the self-control necessary to just graze so they are hungry enough for a meal. Otherwise they’d try to live on Goldfish crackers and juice! Snacking is not as fulfilling as a full meal and it doesn’t leave us satisfied for long. Likewise, spiritual snacking will not be enough to keep us in constant peace.
Let’s go back to the thought of craving pure spiritual milk. Think about how many times a newborn needs to nurse? This is a reminder that we can’t do much on our own before we need to return to our source of nourishment, Jesus.
I think of those sweet moments when I held my children and they looked up at my face, trusting me with no fears, no judgements. They didn’t think they knew better, so they never argued. They just consumed and gazed. Isn’t that the way to bliss with Jesus? We just gaze at him and consume what he pours out to us in return.
I pray God’s blessing on you today and offer this prayer you may want to pray…
God, I want to gaze at you with continued adoration. Draw me to you. Take me deeper into your presence. Fill me with hunger for you and all you have. I believe there is healing in your body and blood, and mercy in the waters of your grace. God, you are the rock I will stand on. Take me deeper into your gospel of good news, where freedom is truly found. Give me CRAVING for you and willingness to stay close to you. Teach me to swim in the clear deep waters, to go deeper so I’m free of the murky bottom. I choose to dwell in you Lord. Thank you for a place of peace in your arms. In Jesus’s name. Amen.
Reading recommendation: Jesus said in John 15: 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Dwell in the words of Jesus and consume his heart for you in this chapter.
There’s a wonderful song that gives us a picture of how we can escape the cares of this world…
Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look FULL into his wonderful face, and the things of earth WILL grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.