Reading Psalm 22 this morning I was struck by a couple of phrases in verses 9 and 10;
“Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
From birth I was cast on you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.” (italics mine)
“Made me trust in you”… through the biological imperative of breastfeeding. From the moment we first drew near to our mother’s breasts God was making us trust in him. From day one he was teaching us that our sustenance comes from another and that all we need to do is receive it. God ensured that our earliest experience of life set the foundation for our ultimate experience of life; that we are meant to intimately engage with him, to be fed by him, to be held by him, to be loved by him, like a mother loves a newborn child.
“I was cast on you”… The New Living Translation says, “I was thrust into your arms“. The Message translation says, “When I left the womb you cradled me“. From the moment we first entered this world God was teaching us that he receives us. Though the pushing way of childbirth he thrusts us into his arms. With a final contraction he casts us into his cradling care. God catches us. He cleans us up. He swaddles us. From birth he has been our God.
I find it compelling that the psalm writer understood birth and breastfeeding in this way; as more than just metaphor or analogy. God really did give birth to the entire process. His Spirit really does hold in place every single facet of childbirth and breast feeding. And every time God thrusts you into a life situation, any time he receives you, or catches you, or feeds you in ways that feel good and right, you can be assured that you’re actually reliving a memory that he implanted in you at birth.