I am always amazed at those who are able to nurture and care for life. Seeing my wife over the last year or so literally grow another human inside of her, and then if that wasn’t enough, care for him and give him all he needs, is really a miracle unfolding in front of my eyes. It seems instinctively, she knows what our kids need when they need it. The heart of a mother is one of God’s crowning achievements – full of gentleness and grace.
Also, my in-laws have the gift of planting and nurturing a garden that produces an abundant crop. This labor of love takes daily care and a lot of patience to bring forth produce unrivaled at any supermarket.
Each year my father-in-law will post a picture of the first shoot of asparagus or broccoli floret. After a long and cold winter, life returns!
As we talk through the idea of new birth this week, I can’t help but think of these things. New life rises from death unexpectedly like a shoot coming out of the cold, lifeless ground. Despite the conditions, life has a way of overcoming death just like eventually, light overcomes the dark.
I am reminded of Lamentations 3 where the writer describes living in a death-like state. Really, you should read these scriptures describing a man in the darkest of places. In really vivid detail, he describes what it is like to be in sorrow and pain. What he describes is a man defeated, in hell.
If there is any time to lose hope, this would be it. And, I feel like so many of us are there. Our lives suffocate with increased busyness and stress. The technological age presses hard against us with a flurry of Facebook posts and tweets reminding us of how inadequate and broken we are. Families are stretched to the limit, the church is loosing relevance, and so many are loosing their faith.
How can life break through? How can God’s plan work in a world like this?
When the passage gets the darkest, hope finds an opening. The darkness cannot stay forever.
Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
Suddenly, the night breaks. God’s mercies are made brand new. It is as if the night never existed.
And for those in darkness, this happens every day.
With the light of dawn, God literally begins new with us again. There is no record of wrongs. The debt is paid. We can walk in the light of day.
This is what love truly is. Even in our darkest, most death-filled moments, life and light break through. And, it isn’t just once. It happens over and over. God’s mercies never cease.
We are born again.
How does this strike you? Do you believe it?