"Oh, that you may suck fully of the milk of her comfort, That you may nurse with delight at her abundant breasts!"
Until I started breastfeeding my first child about six weeks ago, I don't think I fully understood this verse. I remember when I was younger I thought this verse was awkward and I sort of skipped over it if I was in something I was reading. Classic teenager...
Anyway, since beginning to beast feed, I have learned a lot about sacrifice, the genius of the human body and the comfort a child feels when being fed. It's incredible how Joseph can be screaming at the top of his lungs and seem inconsolable and yet, as soon as he latches on, the crying subsides, his breathing slows and his little body relaxes. He feels safe and secure. He feels comforted. As adults we don't remember his experience, but feeding a young one or watching one find consolation in his mother can easily remind us of this reality. It really is incredible what God had planned for the human body. A completely natural way of connecting mother and child. A way which reminds us that in God we can find comfort and consolation as deeply and as quickly as a small child who nurses at his mother's breasts. This verse wasn't just a nice piece of poetry, but is instead a glimpse into the truth of our existence and dependence on God.
Gods beautiful plan for breast feeding also explains why the verse says suck fully. This was really the part that struck me as I read up on the science behind breast feeding. I am the type of person who needs to know as much as possible about everything I am involved in and that knowledge usually leads me to a deeper understanding of my existence...this time it was no different.
When a child nurses, there are actually two different types of milk which come from the mother. At first, the fore milk is released. This usually comes quickly when he starts the feeding and is pretty abundant. As he continues to nurse, the hind milk comes down. This milk is not as plentiful but it is much richer with all the nutrients he needs. It also helps to keep him fuller longer. The downside is that to get to the best milk, it takes patience and perseverance.
And that is where the lesson for today lies. At the beginning of our walk with the Lord, everything can seem easy and grace can seem to be so abundant. There are still challenges of course, but we feel Gods presence and seem to be growing so quickly in our faith. This, however, is not the end of the story. God asks us to continue to be faithful and to persevere. It is often difficult to continue the path set before us and it can require a lot more work and sacrifice. On the other hand, we can also find that the toughest parts of our journey are the most rewarding. Just as a child must persevere in nursing to get the most nutritious milk, we too must persevere in the spiritual life to see all that God has planned for us!
It really is a wonderful path that has been set before us! Yes, there are many hardships. Waking every two to three hours to feed my newborn is not easy (mostly because I rank sleep near the top of the list of things I enjoy most on life), but there are many moments when I hold Joseph at two in the morning an I thank God for the times he has given me with my precious child. In the end, I wouldn't have it any other way. Taking the easy way out would not be nearly as rewarding.
May God be praised!
Copyright 2013 Stephanie Gulya
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