FENTON, MI – We got busted! Our son and daughter-in-law were having our first grandchild. Like often happens, she was in labor for hours, and our children graciously invited us to share this moment with them so we hung out with her parents for most of the day. When the contractions got intense and close, we knew from experience that it would not be long. Four parents expectantly waited in the hall outside the door to hear that first cry. Then the nurse came by: “You need to go to the waiting room down the hall.” Busted! In moments like this, it takes enormous, beyond human willpower to keep me from saying something (to that nurse) like: “You bumped your head.”
Disappointed, we turned toward the waiting room, until she was out of sight then we quickly developed our recognizance plan. We would take turns walking down the hall and call the rest when the birth was imminent. It is hard to believe how approximately seven pounds of what has been described as “crying on one end and a total lack of responsibility on the other” changed our lives! It was an incredible new beginning for all of us.
Jesus used the analogy of birth to tell Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” The Apostle Paul captures the transformation Jesus makes in our lives with the words: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 CSB).
One of my favorite new birth stories is that of Charles Spurgeon. He was on his way to church in a snowstorm. It got so bad that he decided to turn down a side street and attend a different church instead. A small group of 12 to 15 gathered for worship. The pastor was not there that morning - probably due to the storm. A man opened the Bible and preached an impromptu message on the text, LOOK UNTO ME, AND BE YE SAVED, ALL THE ENDS OF THE EARTH (Isaiah 45:22 KJV)
Spurgeon is not very flattering in the way he describes the singing and the preaching of that snowy day. When the preacher finished his ten-minute message, he looked directly at Spurgeon and said, ‘'Young man, you look very miserable... and you always will be miserable--miserable in life, and miserable in death, --if you don't obey my text; but if you obey now, this moment, you will be saved.... You man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothin' to do but to look and live.”
Those words hit their mark. Spurgeon realized that he needed only to look to Christ and Christ alone for his salvation. He looked to Christ that day and describes what happened: “Simply by looking to Jesus, I had been delivered from despair, and I was brought into such a joyous state of mind that, when they saw me at home, they said to me, ''Something wonderful has happened to you;'' and I was eager to tell them all about it….”
As we see the new beginnings of Spring all around us, let’s be eager to tell about the greatest new beginning of all - the one we experience in Christ!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Durbin is the State Evangelism Director for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before joining the state convention staff, Mike served as Church Planting Catalyst and Director of Missions in Metro Detroit since 2007. He also has served as a pastor and bi-vocational pastor in Michigan, as well as International Missionary to Brazil.