Sooner or later every loving parent discovers that caring for children leads to backache. This is for the simple reason that our children are smaller than we are and that in order to attend to their needs we must be constantly bending down to their level. It begins with changing nappies and lifting crying infants from their cot, and continues as toddlers discover what fun it is to throw things onto the floor from their high chairs. And it doesn’t stop once our children become more mobile – now we’re reaching down to comfort a child with a grazed knee or lifting one onto our backs for a piggy-back ride or running behind them as they learn to ride their first bike. Like it or not if you love your kids, you’re going to get backache.
So it tells us something about the character of God that the psalmist writes in Psalm 116 ‘Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.’ The psalmist had discovered that God is a loving father who is prepared to stoop down to his level, and knowing this gives him the confidence to keep bringing his prayers – he knows that God listens and he knows that God cares.
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