Posts tagged ‘birth’

The Promise and Potential of New Beginnings

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  John 1:1

As an obstetrician, I witnessed the beginning of literally thousands of lives. At least the beginning of when the parents could touch and feel and hold that precious life. And so the beginning of life is an exciting time filled with promise and potential. No matter how many times I had the privilege of attending the delivery of a newborn infant, I was always awed by the beginnings of life, by the first breath, the first cry, the first arch of the back and stretching of the arms. I could be dead tired and wishing I didn’t have to get up when the call would come that Mrs. Smith was ready to have her baby. But once I held Mrs. Smith’s baby, I had new life as I held the beginning of her baby’s new life.

Yes, there is something almost magical about beginnings. The beginning of a new school year for a student has the promise of new insights and understandings of her world. The beginning of a new project at work has the anticipation of a better approach to a problem or new set of clients or even a new salary when it is completed. The beginning of a new season is especially sweet for Chicago Cubs fans as there is a new start and a new chance to finally make it to the World Series! And so we find ourselves almost obsessed with beginnings. We desperately want to know our own beginnings as we constantly seek for new beginnings because we endlessly mess up our last beginnings.

Perhaps this is why John begins his Gospel by telling us that in THE beginning, that is the beginning of this world, the Word already existed and that Word was actually God. God, a Being who has no beginning, is beyond our comprehension precisely for that reason – He has no beginning. Whether you believe everything we know today had its beginning with a big bang or by the Word of God, something existed prior to our beginning. I find it comforting to understand that just as I know my parents existed before me, the very first parents in the world knew God existed before them. Such a knowledge gives context, meaning, purpose, and a sense of belonging to our beginning. 

The truly amazing thing about experiencing the beginning is the potential of new promises and the promise of new potentials. Just as God created to give us our beginning with the promise of His unconditional love, He recreates us with the potential to love unconditionally. And so our very existence speaks to the facts of not only our beginning, but the reality of new beginnings. We sleep each night because we cannot physically continue without resting to have a fresh beginning each day. Likewise, we must give our trials, burdens, and failings to Jesus because we cannot spiritually continue without resting in Him to have a fresh beginning each day.

And so today I rejoice in the fact that in the beginning was the Word. Because Jesus IS the beginning, I can have a new beginning each day. No matter what happened yesterday or the day before, I can choose to have a new beginning today – in Him. The Gospel is all about beginnings. There is joy in the beginnings. There is peace in the beginnings. There is love in the beginnings. What beginning will you choose today? May you experience the full potential of God’s promise to forgive and transform you today. 

It’s Personal

Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me.   Isaiah 46:9

I very often cannot remember what appointments I had the day before or what I even had for lunch. I have a hard time remembering names of people I just met or even names of people I’ve known for years! But I do remember those events in my life that have an emotional trigger associated with them. I remember every detail about each birth of each of my children. I remember Sally’s heart rate going down in the delivery room at the Loma Linda University Hospital and the doctor pulling her through the birth canal with forceps. I remember Kelsey being born at Bethesda Naval Hospital having been predicted to be a boy by ultrasound. And I remember the the joy of having another girl. I remember Eric Junior’s birth at Bethesda Naval Hospital that was chaotic because of its rapidity. I remember each labor and delivery room. I remember so many details that I will stop now before writing a book about them!

So when God tells us to remember what He has done in the past, it’s personal. He knows we remember things best that are relationally connected and thus have an emotional aspect. God created our memories to be stored in the limbic system of the brain where our emotions reside. God interacts with us personally. So when He tells us to remember what He has done in the past, He is talking about what He has done with you! This is not merely a set of facts or teachings, but rather personal experiences with God that reveal new insights and understandings in who we are and who we can become.

But even though I remember everything about the birth of each one of my children, I can go for months without thinking about those experiences. In this way I can forget them. God is telling us in Isaiah 46:9 to actively recall and think about our experiences with Him. Recall your own new birth experience. Remember what He has done for you throughout the days, weeks, months, and years since that time. Recall His embrace in hard times, His counsel in confusing times, His whisper in quiet times, and His loud cry in dangerous times. You may even want to journal during these times if not every day. Such an activity will not only preserve your thoughts to help you recall God’s personal touch in your life, but it can bring new thoughts and insights to the experience as you write it down.

As we go through life with God, let’s never forget that above all else, IT’S PERSONAL!

Tag Cloud