“Let’s go change your diaper,” I chirped in my sing-songy “mom” voice. I carried my son upright against my chest with a hand under his bottom and a hand behind his head. Six weeks outside the womb, it was his favorite place to be.
We headed toward the stairs, a frequent and familiar routine. I wasn’t distracted. I was present in the moment with my baby. Stepping up, my slipper caught a rough joint in the wood, and the world flipped in slow motion. We tumbled toward the wooden landing with no possible way to prevent the fall.
“Protect the baby at all costs.” I’m not sure it was a cognizant thought, but instinctively I turned my body to take the brunt of the fall on my right side. I cradled my son tightly, trying to keep him from hitting the floor and my body from crushing him.
It was the most terrifying event of my new life as a fledgling parent. My son wailed. I held him close as I stood up, and he calmed quickly. I wasn’t calm. “Oh baby, it’s ok. Are you ok? Are you ok?” I checked him over, and all was well. He returned to his normal activities—eating, sleeping, pooping, snuggling.
His head never even touched the floor. My hand and arm protected him.
As the adrenaline subsided and his safety was evident, my tears flowed. My baby could have been seriously injured. I cried and prayed, praising God for his protection over my newborn.
Protect the baby at all costs. It didn’t matter if I’d be battered and bruised or if my bones would break, protecting him was more important.
God protects his children at all costs also.
Maybe you’re wondering, “What about the times when there is injury or sickness? What about the times God doesn’t visibly protect?” Of course, this scenario could have gone much differently. There could have been a trip to the emergency room. But even so, God is still the protector.
Let’s get on the same page. God eternally protects his children at all costs. He may withhold temporary, physical protection to remind us of true, eternal protection. Though it doesn’t always come in the form we want it to, the Lord protects. He may not spare us from grief or trials in this life, but his view is deeper, down to our very souls.
Jesus accomplished the ultimate protection on the cross. He turned his own body to take the brunt of the “fall.” He was bruised and broken, but protecting his own was more important. And he protected even unto death, absorbing the full measure of wrath that should have been hurled at us; thus, we know the marvelous, unfathomable reality of propitiation. Because Christ made God favorable toward us, all we receive is grace upon grace.
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (I John 4:9-10)
He was forsaken so we would be welcomed. He was abandoned and rejected, but we were protected and reclaimed.
My husband and I seek to make wise decisions to keep our son safe, but ultimately God is his true protector, the perfect parent. Fear and worries are kept in check when I remember how perfectly God parents. He never stops loving, never runs out of patience, never lacks wisdom, never makes the wrong decision.
I’m guessing all moms are beset with the “what ifs.” I’m guessing we all face fear. I’ve known the death of my first husband, so fear of loss is a temptation always lurking at the back of my mind, lunging to the forefront at any moment.
But if God will go so far to accomplish eternal protection, I can trust his wise and sovereign plan for my baby. The Lord knew him before he formed him. He intricately designed all the parts of his body. He already knows the number of my son’s days. My boy has a perfect parent, but it’s certainly not me.
Therefore, I can rest. I might fear injury, sickness, or even death, but I can entrust those fears to the one who has ultimate control. And the crushing weight of doing the impossible is lifted; I don’t have to be a perfect mom. I can’t be a perfect mom. Accidents will happen. I’ll make bad decisions. I’ll sin against him. But I can run to the God who perfectly parents me, recalling grace.
I’m still pretty new at this parenting thing, but it’s safe to say I’d die for my son. I’d run into a burning building to save him or use my body as a shield. But I may not always be able to protect him.
So, I speak truth to my heart. God eternally protects his children at all costs. Sickness, sorrow, and injury can’t nullify the everlasting protection already secured by Jesus.
 Psalm 139:13-16, Jer. 1:5
Ami Atkins Wickiser is a developmental therapist who lives in Belleville, Illinois. She was widowed at age 30, but has since remarried and has a three month old son. Her writing has also been featured on The Gospel Coalition, True Woman, Gospel Centered Woman, and Adorned. Ami serves as the Director of Women’s Ministries for her church, Swansea Baptist. in Swansea, Illinois. You can find her at whenmercyfoundme.com and Facebook.