I recently witnessed a toddler meltdown of epic proportions, this is not really newsworthy as the toddler in question is mine and I see these scenarios quite regularly. However, this particular meltdown took place at 11pm and all parents will tell you that the later the hour, the louder the cries. We had gone up to stay with my parents, who live three and a half hours’ drive away. I’m a planner, so I decided if we left after dinner, both children would sleep in the car and we could pop them straight into bed at the other end. Great plan, right? The first part went perfectly, but my plan did not account for an overexcited grandmother. When my little boy blearily opened his eyes in Nanny’s living room, he might well have just closed them again and drifted off, EXCELT that there were TOYS everywhere awaiting his arrival. Anyway, sleepy playing ensued, followed by exhaustion, followed by a meltdown. He was tired, but he would not go to bed (some of you might know this story). It was not his bed, it was not his room and he felt disoriented.
Disorientation is an unpleasant feeling for all of us, even if we don’t beat our fists on the floor like a two year old. We feel like we are drifting, nothing feels sure or fixed and we feel that we have no control over where our feet may fall next. It makes us forget who we are.
Like my little one provided an excellent example of these feelings over he weekend, children are a symbol in Psalm 8. They represent innocence and vulnerability; weakness and dependence.
“Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.”
The innocence if children is contrasted with the strength of foes and avengers. God wants us to know that our strength is not our victory; our surrender to His strength is. He strengthens the weakest and most vulnerable, our praises are what makes us powerful!
This psalm is written evidence of God’s care and concern for us: His children. The psalmist writes of the very existence of Heaven and Earth as a declaration of love from God to humanity. Our position of trust as the appointed rulers of this world shows us that God has adopted us and sons and daughters, placing everything under our feet.
Psalm 8 is a timely (for me anyway) reminder of how we should view ourselves. I don’t believe I am alone in my ability to get disoriented and feel overwhelmed by the demands of everyday life. Although I often feel that I am not enough for the tasks at hand, this psalm reminds me that God has made me a “ruler of the works of his hands”.
“You have made them[d] a little lower than the angels[e]
and crowned them[f] with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their[g] feet”
We have been crowned with glory and honour. We cannot crown ourselves, we cannot change our crown, or do anything to earn it; it has been given as an expression of our intrinsic value to God. That certainly makes me feel better amidst the struggles of life and ministry. A crown is a symbol of authority and, when I feel like anyone other than me would do a better job, I remember that God has crowned me with glory, honour and the authority to carry out great works in His name. In times of discouragement or trials, we must remember to polish our crowns.
Polishing your crown means adjusting your self-image to reflect the care and consideration that God gave and continues to give to your creation. It means spending time in His presence, being transformed into His image. Praise God for who you are; you are exactly as He intended you to be, crowned with glory and honour.
– Jen Grubb