WHAT CREATION TEACHES US
The first 60 minutes of a baby’s life outside the womb is a crucial period of adjustment. Why? Because mothers who bond with their newborn babies during this critical time dramatically improve the growth and development of their children.*
What prompts a mother to care tenderly for her newborn baby? Professor Jeannette Crenshaw explains in The Journal of Perinatal Education that an elevated level of the hormone oxytocin “stimulates mothering feelings after birth as a mother touches, gazes at, and breastfeeds her newborn.” Another hormone released at this time “helps a mother respond to her baby” and reinforces her interaction with her baby. Why is that significant?
The close bond between mother and baby was designed by our loving Creator, Jehovah God.* King David credited God with bringing him “out of the womb” and making him feel secure in his mother’s embrace. He prayed: “I have been entrusted to your care from birth; from my mother’s womb, you have been my God.”—Psalm 22:9, 10.
CONSIDER: If God created such a complex system to ensure that a human mother will tenderly observe her baby and respond to the infant’s needs, does it not seem logical that God also takes a personal interest in us, “the children of God”?—Acts 17:29.
WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES US ABOUT GOD’S WATCHFUL CARE
Jesus Christ, who knows the Creator better than anyone else, taught: “Two sparrows sell for a coin of small value, do they not? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So have no fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.”—Matthew 10:29-31.
Few of us pay attention to every small bird we see, let alone notice when one of them falls to the ground. But our heavenly Father notices each one of them! And birds—even many birds—are never worth more to him than a human. The lesson, therefore, is clear: You should “have no fear” that God does not notice you. On the contrary, he is deeply interested in you!
God is keenly interested in our welfare and watches over us with loving concern
The Scriptures assure us
“The eyes of Jehovah are everywhere, watching both the bad and the good.”—PROVERBS 15:3.
“The eyes of Jehovah are on the righteous, and his ears listen to their cry for help.”—PSALM 34:15.
“I will rejoice greatly in your loyal love, for you have seen my affliction; you are aware of my deep distress.”—PSALM 31:7.
“I FELT THAT I WAS NOT LOVED BY JEHOVAH”
Can it make a difference in our life if we know that God is keenly interested in our welfare and watches over us with loving concern? It most certainly can, as Hannah,* from England, explains:
“Many, many times I felt that Jehovah did not love me and that my prayers were not being answered. I thought it was because of a lack of faith on my part. I felt that I was being punished or ignored because I wasn’t important. I felt that God didn’t care.”
However, Hannah no longer doubts Jehovah’s attention and love. What changed how she felt? “It was a gradual change,” she explains. “I remember one Bible talk many years ago about Jesus’ ransom sacrifice that had a profound effect on me and helped me feel reassured of Jehovah’s love. And when my prayers have been answered, I have often burst into tears because I realized that Jehovah does love me after all. Also, by studying the Bible and attending Christian meetings, I have learned more about Jehovah, his personality, and the way he feels about us. Now I see clearly Jehovah’s backing and love for us all and his willing desire to look after us individually.”
What Hannah says is encouraging. But how can you be sure that God understands and remembers your feelings? The following article will examine this question.
Some mothers who suffer from postpartum depression may have difficulty bonding with their baby. However, they should not feel that they are to blame. According to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, postpartum depression “likely results from a combination of physical and emotional factors . . . but does not occur because of something a mother does or does not do.” For more information on this subject, see the article “Understanding Postpartum Depression” in the June 8, 2003, issue of Awake!
Jehovah is God’s name as revealed in the Bible.—Psalm 83:18.
Some of the names in this series of articles have been changed.