A couple we know and love are expecting a baby! Congratulations, we’re so happy for you. Hubby and I know that you will be excellent parents, and that the experience will help both you and everyone your lives touch learn and grow. God is evident in every aspect of parenting! No words can describe what it’s like to hold your child in your arms for the first time, to walk with that child through the joys and trials of life. It truly is one of God’s most indescribable gifts!
1 Corinthians 2:9 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”
The news has me thinking about birth, this amazing experience we all share. How amazing, how awe inspiring! How unimaginable, how indescribable is the birth of a child. Each of our children’s births were different, each unique, each one spoke a hint of the people they would become.
Eldest came into the world fired up, indignant at the injustice of finding himself suddenly cold and naked in a room full of strangers. His first cry was instant and loud, he fought and kicked, and finally settled only when he saw our faces and heard our voices. He could not stand to be alone, but wanted people and activity constantly around him…boredom was worse than hunger. He continues to be shocked and enraged by injustice in the world, and voices his desire to help people who are, figuratively, cold and naked. His mind is constantly going, always considering, wondering, postulating.
Youngest’s birth was a whirlwind, it hit hard and fast and she was in our arms after only 45 minutes of labor. The very precipitousness of her birth seemed to overwhelm her, she looked around the room in awe and amazement before even taking a breath. There was, in fact, a moment in the room when everyone’s breath was held, waiting for her to inhale. Once she did, she uttered a few loud cries and then settled into our arms, still looking around in wonder, refusing to nurse until she had taken it all in to her satisfaction. Today, she is the one who explores her world with the most intensity, experiencing every aspect of life to its fullest extent and savoring each moment to the fullest. She is full of wonder, full of life. She is a whirlwind, and she does things her own way. We frequently find ourselves holding our breath when we watch her.
“For YOU created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful I know that full well.” Psalm 139: 13-14
The wonder of birth goes deeper still, what we see on the outside is only one aspect of what changes when a child comes into the world. Before that first breath, the child is different. On the outside, it is shocking to see…this tiny being, animated and yet not quite separate. Blue-grey in color before their first breath, something amazing happens physically with that first cry. Before birth, a baby’s anatomy is physically different…their rib cage is compressed, lungs having never been filled with air. There are tiny doors within their circulatory system, doors that are opened before birth because the baby’s blood has been dependant on the mother for oxygen. What worked before birth would be fatal after, and with that first breath the child truly becomes his own individual. In the open air for the first time, the baby’s first gulp of air rushes in, expanding her lungs and popping out the compressed ribs. The action closes the doors within, shutting off holes that would cause life threatening leaks in blood flow were they to stay open. For the first time, blood flows in the way it will, for the rest of his life. She changes, on the outside, from blue to pink. For the first time, he is the complete creature he was created to be…the beginning of a plan of God’s, loved and known fully from the start.
John 3:7 -3:8 “You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
I think a similar thing happens when a person comes to know Jesus for the first time. I think of myself before I really understood, before I gave my life to Christ. I was struggling, hurting, lost and confused. I was alive, but somehow dead at the same time…blue-grey and unaware, dependent on earthly things, people and ideas that could no longer sustain me. My sustenance, my identity, my dependence was on the world, on shaky pillars which shifted and changed but did not offer stability that lasted.
Coming to know my Lord was indeed like being born, again. That first breath, having Christ in my heart for the first time! How sweet it was, as if I had never breathed before. My heart grew, expanded, increased in capacity more than I could have imagined. I felt alive, more alive than I had felt since I was a child. In becoming a Christian, doors shut inside me. Doors that I felt I needed before, when I was dependant on the world alone. They were no longer needed, and would have been dangerous if left open. But now, my life flowed in a new way! And love was in every breath. I was complete, ready to truly become the person God intended me to be. Ready to begin the journey, which both ends and begins with seeing Him in Heaven for the first time.
It’s different for everyone, birth and rebirth. I love to here stories of both! What miracles He has in store for us, what love He showers on us, what wonders beyond our imagination!