He Knows Our Groans


I don’t recall having so many spiritual epiphanies when my other children were babies.  But there is something about this time around.  Perhaps it is my age.  Maybe it is the fact that mothering an infant in this season of my life is so surprising, so unexpected.  It could be that I am so overwhelmed so much of the time that I am deeply hungry for meaning and spiritual insight however and whenever I can get it. I am not sure, but it just feels like, amidst the chaos and dog-tiredness, His Spirit is whispering some beautiful things to my spirit.

Isaac (eleven months now!) is very expressive.  He loves to be with people.  He’s not a big fan of alone-time, meaning he cries when I walk out of the room and when I return, it is as if his whole body expresses his joy in seeing me come close.  His eyes light up. His mouth widens. His body shakes a bit.  It’s like he wants to jump out of his skin to get to me. Precious love.

I think he is the most expressive of my babies, and the first one I’ve been able to tell a difference between cries.  Incidentally, I always felt bad that I couldn’t really tell the difference in the cries of my other babies.  I felt like I was in tune with them most of the time, but I never felt like that mom who knows what each cry-tone indicated.   #momguilt

And then came Isaac. 

I know his hungry cry, his tired cry, his hurt cry, and his “I’m an extrovert and need people NOW” cry.

One night, as I snuggled him close, giving him his bottle in the darkness of his quiet room, I found myself praying for some people in my life that are carrying some pretty heavy burdens. Honestly, I didn’t know how to pray.  I found myself simply whispering their names, with tears streaming down my face. And I was immediately moved by the thought that Jesus hears the cries of my heart, the names I cry out to him and recognizes the tone.  He knows the needs of the souls I name.

 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.                                                                                        Romans 8:26-27, NIV

Just like a mama knows her child’s cries, interprets them and then moves into action to respond to her baby’s needs, the Spirit takes the deep wordless groans of my spirit, translates them and moves into action on my behalf and on behalf of the people for whom I cry out.

I love the idea that each name I whisper is a like a different cry, and the Spirit recognizes each one. 

So if you don’t know how to pray, if you can’t find the words, because there aren’t any.  If all you can do is cry and groan, and whisper someone’s name…He hears, and He sees and He acts.

This is our God.  How beautiful.

Much love,


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