The Cry

"For if you cry for discernment; lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowlege of God." Proverbs 2:3-4

Allyson, our youngest daughter, was born in Houston, Texas on the eve of Hurricane Alicia, August 16, 1983. In July, Dana and I had been called to pastor a church in Tempe, Arizona and we were waiting for our new baby to arrive before making the move. We have often thought that in all the confusion of both arrivals, the names of Alicia and Allyson may have been switched. From the moment they both hit our beach the impact was life-changing.

Allyson was to have been our son. We had already picked out the name Austin in anticipation of the big day. When that little girl came on the scene, all pink and cuddly, she won my heart. No regrets here.

However, we soon discovered Allyson was a world class crier. She was relentless. She only let up due to complete exhaustion. After a little nap, she was back at it again. We did not know what to do, and she was getting on our last nerve. When you get thrown out of a McDonald's Burger joint, you know something has got to change.

Dana was at her wit's end with this new baby. She took being a good mother seriously, and having a baby that she could not comfort was very disconcerting for her. With both of her newborns, Dana readily embraced God's way for feeding her little ones. I fully supported her in that choice. It just didn't make sense for me to get up for those 2:00 AM feedings. Since I couldn't do anything to help her, and I might get in the way, I stayed in bed and prayed for her. You get the picture.

Still, I was beginning to have second thoughts about this second child. If we didnt' get some answers soon, life for us and Allyson was not going to get any better. We made another trip to the pediatrician, and he discovered the solution. He said, "She's crying because she's hungry." Dana felt so guilty. She had done everything by the book, and had been faithful to feed Allyson every time she cried, but nothing she did ever satisfied her. The doctor asked a few questions and concluded that the trauma and drama of the move from Texas to Arizona may have impacted the level of nutrients the baby was getting from mother's milk. He suggested starting her on cereal to see if that would solve the problem. It sounded too good to be true, but...

It was a miracle! I remember the day when the spoon touched Allyson's lips. Her little eyes widened in surprise, and then her survival instincts took over. She swallowed the contents and immediately opened up for more. After devouring everything she was offered, she became content, and fell asleep...for hours! It was amazing. Her crying stopped. She was transformed. She became more loveable. Her cries had finally been satisfied. She received what she needed, and she was at rest. Her crying had been an indication of her hunger. She was not being difficult or rebellious. She was calling out for help. She was not ever going to stop crying until her need was satisfied. Her crying was a call for someone to meet her need. Sound familiar?

"If you cry for discernment...then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God.

Proverbs reminds us that the person who refuses to accept substitutes for what he really needs is going to have to cry out to God for wisdom. The word "cry" carries with it the idea of accosting a person met. Almost 700 times in the Old Testament, this Hebrew word is translated "call" or "cry." It communicates the passion of someone who willingly admits they are in need of knowledge and they hunger to be taught. Hungry people are not unreasonable. They are actually teachable. They know they will perish without consuming what they need. This is not a whimper, a whine or the faint cry of a victim. This cry is like that of a new born baby screaming for the nourishment that it needs for survival. This is not a point of preference, but an issue of survival.

Prayer is God's design to meet the needs of people who hunger after Him. From the very beginning of His ministry, Jesus was very clear,

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:6

The way you come on is the way you go on. Hungry people keep seeking nourishment. No matter how good the meals were yesterday, they are insufficient for the nourishment that is needed today. Prayer is God's meal plan for hungry people. When they read His Word, and cry out to Him for discernment, He supplies what they need...knowledge. This knowledge is tempered, flavored and guided by the character of Christ...wisdom.

It is not enough to know the truth about God. We must spend time with Him. Those who hunger after His Presence will receive insight that satisfies the longing of their heart.

"Knowing God's will in specifics comes out of consistent companionship with God." Lloyd John Ogilvie.

Discerning the fear of the Lord leads a person to intercede for the needs of others. God feeds His children to empower them to lead others to Him. The family name is not honored when His kids become self-absorbed Bible brats or divine divas seeking out preferential treatment or pious perks from their Super Sweet Sugar Daddy. Prayer provides access to God and releases the character of Christ that turns a person's focus away from their own navel and towards a lost world. Being fed results in being led to pray more for others than you do for yourself. It certainly means a well-fed person should learn to discern the difference between sharing and caring. Gossip is fed by talk and leads you to share. Compassion is fed by prayer and leads you to care. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!