05 February 2014

Suckling Babes

9 ¶Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

~Isaiah 28:9 KJV

Reading this post got me thinking . . . and the clear application of Isaiah's analogy of a nursing babe to those who gain spiritual strength from other mortals came into my mind. God provides mother's milk to infants to nourish and strengthen them until they are old enough to eat on their own. Nursing babies are even born with a different throat construction than they will have in just over a year; it's nearly impossible for them to inhale enough milk to be in danger of drowning. During this time of inarticulation, the mother needs to be in tune with her baby (and, in my personal experience, the Spirit of God) so she can meet her baby's needs well, and the baby can thrive. Then, over time, the baby grows and flourishes on mother's milk, until it is developed enough to thrive on solid foods. During that period of growth, the baby's throat changes, and speech slowly becomes possible.

Spiritually, we all go through these same phases and changes. We are taught, and rely on, others stronger than ourselves to give us what we need to grow in the knowledge of God until we can receive that spiritual nourishment directly. It's a process of weaning ourselves from relying on mortals and learning to rely on God. The process varies widely . . . some follow a very natural and seamless path. Some need more time nourished by a spiritual mother; others a relatively short time. But, like with human infants who spend somewhere between 1.4% and 3% of their total lifespan on mother's milk, we're not meant to rely on men for more than a short time, and only as necessary when God leads us through new areas of development where we might once again hold infant status.

My own process was mostly seamless, until in my late teens the enemy got the upper hand through depression and a spirit of confusion that held me down for a couple decades. That was just plain spiritual starvation through famine. Then, I was sent a spiritual mother who nourished me, and whose simple connection to God showed me how others I had relied on for survival during those years of famine had fed me utterly worthless junk food. Worse yet, that junk food had deeply damaged the development of my relationship with God. The weaning process from those sources was abrupt, deeply painful, and I'm still discovering raw voids in my soul for Jesus to fill. But the burden lifted from no longer drinking that Kool-Aid is blessed relief, the resulting clarity stark and brilliant, like the view from a high peak on the clearest, coldest day of winter.

And, as I have once again flourished and have begun to receive my nourishment directly from God, I've found my voice.