I wrote this for Fellowship’s newsletter this week. I thought it appropriate to include here. Enjoy.
Kelley and I have been relegated to a very odd stage of life over the past couple of weeks, but one most of you can easily relate to: the stage of waiting for the baby to come! It is such an odd stage. Pregnancy has now become the norm. It seems like a lifetime ago when we actually found out we were having a baby. At this point, Kelley is out of school for the summer and our life has slowed down a bit and we are left to wait.
For two people who love to have control, this is not an easy stage. We know that at any moment the process could begin that will completely change our lives forever, and as much as we read, as much as we prepare, you just can’t be fully prepared for what is to come. A strange stage of life indeed!
In this strange stage I have reflected, read, and thought much about what is to come in the next couple of weeks and months. Much of it is miraculous, but one thing I’ve learned really jumped out at me.
In my ignorance, I’ve always wondered how a baby in the womb could breathe, especially when their lungs are developed and capable by the end of the pregnancy. Added to this were questions of how exactly the baby is fed and generally survives in the womb, and then how all of that changes immediately when he is born.
I learned this from our Birth Preparation Class (nurses and doctors and other experts, forgive me if I get a detail or two wrong): In the womb, the baby gets everything it needs to survive through the blood vessels in the umbilical cord. Food, oxygen, water, you name it, the baby gets it through its complete connection to the mother. The baby in the womb is also designed to exist in the amniotic fluid. It can bring fluid into the lungs and there is no problem. This is the way they are engineered, which is amazing in itself.
When the baby is delivered and takes that deep, sweet, fresh, first breath, he undergoes an entire re-mapping of its circulatory system and the way he is designed to survive.
Up until the moment he hits the cold, sterile air of the delivery room, he is engineered and designed to exist within his mother’s womb with his mother as his source of life. The MOMENT he is delivered, he must breathe on his own, and with that first breath, the entire way he is designed to exist and survive changes. He must breathe oxygen into his beautiful new lungs. He must drink milk into his fresh, ready to use digestive system.
Birth isn’t just the progression for Baby from one stage of life into another, it is being delivered into a complete new way of living and surviving, a completely new composition of life. In many ways, the baby has a new source of life.
As I listened to our birth prep coach animatedly talk about this incredible occurrence, I couldn’t help but reflect on Christ’s words to Nicodemus, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
If our first birth is a re-mapping of our self, a re-working of how we exist and survive, so is our re-birth into the spirit.
We cannot truly see the Kingdom of God, receive the Holy Spirit, become a Follower of Christ, unless we undergo a complete re-mapping of the way we exist and gain our sustenance in this world. From our first breath after we accept the grace of Jesus we breathe in the Holy Spirit. We drink in the presence of Christ in our lives. We exist as a new being who now is dependent on a Holy God for life. We are transformed and changed!
So Fellowship, breathe deeply this morning with the miraculous lungs you have been given and know that you are fearfully, wonderfully, amazingly made. Give God praise for the completely, utterly new birth and new life we have in Him! Gain strength in this knowledge to throw off that which entangles you and be conformed into Christ’s image. Go out and live like the new being you are in Christ!