My youngest daughter is 4 months old. She babbles a lot, wiggles a lot, and for those of you who aren’t in the know, she also does this thing called tummy time. Parents are supposed to do this with their children. Well, not do with their children, but do to their children.
Since infants sleep on their backs these days, they’re lacking strength in key muscle areas including the legs, arms, back, and neck. On their stomach, however, these muscles can be strengthened, helping future development skills such as rolling over and sitting up.
Unlike my nephew seen above, my daughter, E, does not like tummy time. I personally don’t like watching her do tummy time either. Sometimes she starts out ok, but it ends in tears and cries of frustration. I do it
a few times a day as much as I can bear anyway, because I know it’s good for her.
Read this about tummy time¹:
“Don’t be surprised if your baby fusses. Many babies don’t enjoy tummy time at first, but gradually get comfortable on their stomachs as they build up strength, says pediatrician Ari Brown, M.D., author of Baby 411 (Windsor Peak Press). ‘It takes some work to lift that head up and it isn’t always fun,” she says. ‘It’s a workout.’ ”
That’s nice, you say, but what does this have to do with me?
Well, it all depends on how much you enjoy working out while God strengthens your weak muscles. Muscles like Faith. Endurance. Perseverance. Hope. Joy. Peace. Patience.
Much like baby tummy time, godly tummy time is a workout.
It’s a work out time for your faith muscle. Or your joy muscle. Or whatever muscle happens to need improvement.
When God is working on me I fuss at first too. In fact, who am I kidding? I
probably fuss forever, maybe even the entire time. But, as I finally settle down and get comfortable in my circumstance, that is when my days stop ending in tears and frustration. That is when I stop fighting God and see my faith muscle stronger than before.
Can I be honest with you? This current tummy time I’m in is no fun. It feels like suffering. I go back and forth between tears and frustration, and peace and contentment. I know at the end of the day that God is doing it because it’s good for me. Because I need that faith area strengthened.
So I leave you with Romans 5:3-5 because it sums up godly tummy time so well.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Did you catch that? All our suffering will eventually lead to hope…and that hope will not put us to shame. What a wonderful God we serve.
Let me challenge
you us today. If your attitude is less than stellar right now, toss it out and choose to see your circumstance through the lens of hardship leading to hope. Speaking from very recent experience, the change in attitude is freeing beyond belief!
Father, help us to glory in our current sufferings because they make us more like you.