It seems like a millennium ago.
And somehow it seems like yesterday.
I loved the fact that life was growing inside me.
As my belly grew, so did the knowledge that it was inevitable that at the end of the pregnancy’s course, I would go into labor and deliver a new little being.
It’s nature’s way.
And as the day arrived and the intensity of contractions increased, it became obvious that there was no going back. Birth was going to happen whether I was ready or not.
My body couldn’t help but push out this child that had developed inside me. The baby had grown from an embryo to a fetus and had now become its own little person.
But the story doesn’t stop with the birth.
That child was then nurtured and cared for. He/she continued to grow and mature so quickly that sometimes it made my head spin.
Again, nature’s way.
And though it hasn’t happened yet. one day they will also bring new life into this world and continue the process of life and birth and growth.
All of this warms my heart as I think about the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth.
But the same principles apply when we’re talking about things that aren’t quite so warm and fuzzy.
This morning I was reading James 1. I asked God for new insights in very familiar territory.
This is what He gave me:
James 1:13-18 –
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
And there it was.
The birthing process.
The truth of impregnated selfish desire being fed, growing and developing until the birth of sin is inevitable.
But like the birth of a child, it doesn’t just stop there.
And the sin, like it’s mother Desire before it, eventually gives birth to its own child.
An offspring that resembles things like guilt and fear. Shame and hiding.
It’s given name?
A hideous name that fits this ugly child.
Most likely, not physical death, but something much more ominous.
The death of parts of the soul.
If it’s not dealt with, death will feed like a vicious, hungry. flesh-eating disease.
I’m here to tell you from experience, it is absolutely as much a reality as the birth of my five children.
I’ve felt selfish desire grow inside me, watched it give birth to the ugly offspring of sin and then lived the nightmare of allowing it to suckle at my soul.
Birth leading to death.
Thank you, Jesus, that this is not the end of the story.
“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”
God had a different type of birth in mind that would change everything.
For me. For you.
He satisfies our healthy desires with good and perfect gifts. Connection with Him, with others. The things that give us eternal security and earthly contentment.
He nurtures us with His love and devotion.
He is the Father who gave us BIRTH through Jesus.
This progression and delivery results in nothing but ongoing LIFE.
It’s a gift that was meant to continue giving.
Life that should beget life through us.
This is where the soul flourishes and grows and spreads to others.
I have found out the hard way, that I much prefer this type of birthing process.
What will you choose today?
The desires of the heart of GOD HIMSELF?
The pregnancy of HOPE and FREEDOM and JOY?
The inevitable delivery of LIFE?
The good and perfect gifts of the FATHER that gave you that life?
We get to choose the type of “pregnancy” we want, good or bad, the desires we feed, but the delivery will follow the course of nature itself.
And I want to swell with life….
John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.