A few weeks ago we hosted two families who were meeting at our place for a weekend get together. They were good friends who ended up taking jobs in different areas of the Southeast but enjoyed getting together once a year to catch up. They both had young children who enjoyed the pool and the kids from the other family.
They stay with us Friday and Saturday night. Around 6:30 Sunday morning, I am in my office in solitude saying my prayers and trying to embrace the silence.
Suddenly I hear a young child’s loud, throaty cry coming from somewhere in the house, “Daddy!” It startles me out of my quiet meditations. Obviously, one of the youngsters has escaped his room and is in some part of the house frightened and alone. He needs his dad to come, rescue him from the semi-darkness and take him back to his room. But, no adult shows up.
“Dad-dy!” “Dad—dy!” “Daaaad-dy!” “Daaaa-dy!” “Daaaa-dy!” His harsh little voice cries out in the silent darkness over and over again.
“Daaaa-dy!” “Daaaa-dy!” “Daaaa-dy!” He doesn’t say anything else. His pitiful tone is the same with every lonely wail.
“Daaaa-dy!” “Daaaa-dy” It goes on for over five minutes. I am getting really irritated. Where’s his dad? Can’t he hear him? How come no one’s responding? What is wrong? I can’t focus on praying with “Daaaa-dy!” happening every few seconds.
“Daaaa-dy!” “Daaaa-dy!” “Daaaa-dy!” To keep from going crazy, I start analyzing the desperate cry itself. The emphasis is on the first syllable, “Daaaaaaaaaaa-dy!” with the second syllable almost inaudible. The volume remains the same. He isn’t moving. I imagine him hanging on to a rail post at the top of the stairs, too paralyzed by fear to do anything but howl for his father.
“Daaaa-dy!” “Daaaaa-dy!” “Daaaaa-dy!” “Daaaa-dy!” Eventually the irritation begins to change into sympathy. (Good grief!! It took look enough!) A heartbroken little boy is sad that no one is rescuing him at his greatest time of need. So, he continues to cry out, “Daaaaa-dy!”
It isn’t my place to find him, calm him, or take him to his room. I’m not sure what room he is sleeping in or even what room his parents are in. I am a stranger to the little boy. I may have frightened him even more.
But, it dawns on me that he is doing what I need to do – what each of us need to do – constantly and desperately cry out to my Father. Truly, we live each moment of our day in great need of Him. The young lad is an example of our constant and desperate need for God.
Many people live as if God is one of the many good options available to make our life better. That He is the only one who can satisfy the longings of our heart may be a foreign idea to us. Our cry might be, “Aaaaa-ny one!” “Aaaaaa-ny one!” “Aaaaaa-ny one!” As long as we’re rescued, that’s all that matters.
Other people live as if they don’t really need God. They can handle their decisions, problems, issues, relationships, and work without God’s help or intervention. Or maybe God can provide assistance. They think real help comes best from systems, groups, or ideas that may have some spiritual character but little of God.
However, in childlike faith, we need to find the satisfaction to our heart’s longing in the Triune God Himself.
This little boy knows. Above all, he needs his father.
Finally, having wailed for “daddy” for 7-8 minutes, daddy came. As it turned out, the little boy was on the first floor while dad was sound asleep on the second floor.
Let’s take our cue from Jesus who is portrayed in Psalm 102 crying out to His Father in a time of great anguish:
1 Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to you!
2 Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress! Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call!
Or, Psalm 5.1-3
1 Listen to my words, LORD, consider my lament.
2 Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
3 In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
Keep crying out for God no matter how long it takes or how dark your life.
You desperately need Him. He will answer.