Have you ever wrestled an octopus? I have. It’s called a diaper change. Every time I attempt to swap my toddler’s bulging Pampers for a dry one, she throws such a fit that I’m tempted to let her run naked, trailing behind with a bottle of Resolve and a dish rag.
She cries. She screams. She twists, kicks, rolls, dodges my grasp, and bolts across the room to resume playing with her dolls, books, balls—anything but the torture of lying still.
I’ve tried diverting her attention. Silly tricks that would’ve humiliated me five years ago, well, they’re a regular part of my repertoire now.
“What sound does an elephant make?” Mommy exclaims in her happiest this-is-so-much-fun! voice, followed by a siren-like animal call, complete with elbow-to-nose gestures illustrating the elephant’s trunk. And then we move on to monkeys, horses, sheep, cows, the entire animal kingdom if that’s what it takes to keep my one-year-old occupied long enough to wipe her bottom cheeks and fasten the tabs.
I don’t get it. A fresh diaper is more comfortable, it smells better, and it doesn’t invite a nasty rash. Why wouldn’t she welcome it? I’m just trying to clean up the stinky stuff and send her on her merry way.
Oh, but I have stinky stuff, too. Yep—grumpy moods, grudges, selfishness, anxiety, sin issues of all kinds—I’m soaked with loads of stinky. God just wants to clean me up. He just wants to give me a fresh change, if I would only be still and allow it.
But what do I do? I resist, just like my little sea creature. I’m too busy with the equivalent of my dolls and books, focusing more on my activities than on the state of my heart hygiene.
Thanks, Lord, I know you want to change me, but I can’t stop for that right now! Gotta dash! Must check off my to-do list, forge ahead with my agenda. It’s December, after all. I’m super busy getting ready to celebrate your birthday. Can’t you see? No time for rest today!
This doesn’t fly with the Almighty.
“If God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks. . . . It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?” (Psalm 127:1a–2, MSG).
Do I really let my baby girl spend all day in messy pants? Of course not. I chase her down, pin her to the floor, blare my best elephant horn and give her what she needs.
Praise God he does the same for me. I just have to accept his invitation to rest—in prayer, in reading my Bible, in looking up to the sky every once in a while instead of at my calendar. That’s when the clean-up begins. And I have to admit, it sure feels a lot better.