The Other Side of the Wall

February 08, 2016

One night a few years ago when my son, Axton, was an infant, I laid him in his crib, tucked him in for the night, and left his room. He was quiet for a few moments as I went on with my nightly routine, and then, without warning, he let out a wail.

I’d long learned to let him cry a while before swooping in to the rescue. Most of the time, after crying a few minutes, he’d doze off. But just to be on the safe side, I often used our video monitor to peek in on him and make sure things were okay.

That night I watched my son on the glowing monitor screen standing in his crib and clutching his blanket, his face twisted into a scowl as he aired his complaints to the empty room. I could tell by the sound of his cries that he was just tired and would soon drop to the mattress, his sleepy face tucked against his blanket — and that’s exactly what happened.

But in those moments before fatigue took over, while he was still crying out, I wondered:

Does Axton know he’s safe? He’s alone in a quiet, dark room. He has no idea I’m mere feet away on the other side of the wall. He doesn’t even know for sure I can hear him crying. And he certainly doesn’t know I’m letting him cry for a reason — that if I pick him up, I’ll be enabling habits that’ll interfere with both of our sleep for weeks to come.

I was watching Axton; my ears were tuned to his cries. And with the baby monitor’s night vision, I could see the details of his crib and bedroom better than even he could. But he didn’t know that. He thought he was alone.

It struck me all of a sudden that God must often see us this way. We cry and complain about what’s going on in our lives. Everything looks dark. We can’t see. We don’t like where we are. We’re frustrated that God won’t come and do something about our situation.

But if the darkness were lifted and the wall between the spiritual and the physical removed, we could see that not only is God close enough to touch—not only can He see and hear what’s going on — He can see it better than we can, and He understands why we need to go through it. He loves us so much that He doesn’t give in to our demands, no matter what kind of dramatics and antics we resort to.

My revelation that night wasn’t exactly earth-shattering, but it touched me in a profound way. God loves us so much! When we truly believe that, we will trust Him, and when we trust Him, we can rest in the knowledge that God has not abandoned us: He is present. He’s listening. He’s watching. And He’s doing what’s best for His precious child.

For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage” (Psalm 94:14 ESV).