Baby Maggie was delivered, but the doctor could not get her to take that all important first breath.
During this episode, I learned something I never knew before. Until an infant takes its first breath, its lungs are full of fluid that for nine months nourishes its body.
When the time is right, the infant must leave the inside, temporary world of her mother’s womb and enter the outside world for which she is designed. At that pivotal point she has to take that giant gulp of life-giving air to push the fluid out of her lungs so her body can begin a series of amazing changes.
Have you ever wondered why babies begin their little lives with a loud scream? For years I’d heard that a baby’s first outburst was a cry of protest. After all, who would want to leave the security and comfort of a mother’s womb and be thrust into the cruel outside world?
Well, I was wrong. An obstetrician friend explained to me that an infant’s first cry is not a protest at all. It’s actually a shout of celebration that the all important transition between life on the inside and life on the outside has been safely completed.
The same is true for our spiritual birth. We must receive that life-giving breath of God to be born spiritually .Jesus called it being “born again” or “born of the Spirit.”
“I assure you, unless someone is born of water (physical birth) and the Spirit, it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom (eternal life). Whoever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whoever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Don’t be surprised that I said to you. ‘You must be born again.’” John 3:6-7.
Sometimes the Bible writers referred your Heavenly Father as the Spirit of God because the word Spirit literally means air, wind or breath. You can’t see those things, but they’re real and you can’t live without them.
That’s the way it is with God. You can’t see him with your physical eyes but he’s real and gives you eternal quality and everlasting life when you receive his Spirit into your life.
And, by the way, when he comes into your life, he gives you more than life. He gives you his presence, not only all around you but also in you.
By living in you, he makes it possible for you to grow spiritually. That is, he gives you the ability to develop your mind, heart, and behavior in the way it was designed to grow. He works in you to help you have a healthy kind of love, joy, peace, and faith that you can’t get on your own.
You’ll be happy to know that baby Maggie did finally take that first life or death gasp of air. She was fortunate to have a good physician who cared about her, stayed with her, and helped her.
But that wasn’t the end of Maggie’s story. For years, I was Maggie’s pastor. I was privileged to watch her grow not only physically, but spiritually. I was there when she took that first breath of the Spirit of God. She was born again and grew into a gracious, dynamic, and Jesus-like young lady.
Have you taken that eternal-life-giving gulp of air? We can be grateful we have a loving Heavenly Physician who cares for our souls and is there to help us breathe in His Spirit.