By Randy Blackaby
Life begins with minute seed planted in the union of two persons. That life develops by amazing natural processes we are tempted to call miraculous. For nine months, that life lies within a- mother’s body,. changing from a particle that could not be seen with the naked eye were it before us, to a full-fledged human being with signal characteristics of its parents.
At birth comes disengagement from the mother’s body and a continued growth process that allows more and more physical and mental independence as time passes.
The tiny body is full of innocence, pliable as clay both physically and mentally, ready to be shaped and molded by those with whom the new creature will find contact.
Babies, in the purely aesthetic sense, are not pretty at birth. But the absolute perfection of the creature, unhampered by the pressures of life, the guilt of sin or even the knowledge thereof, makes the beauty we always sigh about when a new one arrives.
Birth is something we are all acquainted with and the development of a child is a series of events watched with much attention and concern. We find great pleasure and mirth in watching the innocent play of our children, the unwitting mistakes they make and the tenacity of their progress. Through our children, we can often find relief from the pressures of adulthood and the scars life experiences have brought to us. We can, through them, relive, to a degree, our own years of innocence and freedom. It may well be that freedom is to be found in its truest form in the bodies and souls of little children.
This fact is acknowledged in the Bible, where we find innumerable references to children, their characteristics and development. Being a common part of our lives, an actual extension of ourselves, children serve in the Bible to teach us valuable spiritual lessons. Our relationship to our Creator is expressed in terms of Father and children. God has always considered “His people” in that perspective. And the analogy is easy to follow.
The only way we can fully understand the love of God for us is to understand the love a parent has for his child. God’s endurance in the face of continued rejection over thousands of years is explainable only in the parental experience. The harshness of God’s discipline is appreciated only when the task is ours as a parent.
The sinless qualities of a baby are to be emulated, the Scriptures tell us. Yet, on the other hand, we are told to avoid the childish behavior that may present itself in the form,, of selfishness or other immaturity. The entire development: of a Christian is patterned from a child’s development. A ,Christian’s beginning is termed “a new birth” or “being born again” because innocence is regained, a.. new life begun and the growing process rekindled.
Much of the, New Testament is our Father’s parental guidance, leading us to maturity as one of His children. As in the natural sense, that maturing continues until death.
Parents work hard to provide for their ‘children sustenance and an inheritance of both knowledge and material things: So it is with God. He provides through the Holy Spirit knowledge and holds out to us an inheritance which our parents cannot – eternal life with him. Whereas parent and child must part with tears at death, God offers both eternal union with Himself as a spiritual parent and reunion of faithful ;physical parents and children in that greater family called “God’s children.”
There is much to be learned in the birth of a child. More than maybe you have considered.
Truth Magazine XXIII: 49, p. 786
December 13, 1979