Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Growing a Child

We had a fascinating message today by Jesse Rensbury.  Being a new father he used the analogy of birth in all it's aspects and compared it to new birth. One of the things in Jesse and Monica's experience was that the timing of the birth is not in our hands at all but in God's hands.  Their baby was a month "late" as compared to average.  As he spoke I thought about the fact that there are things a pregnant woman can do like eat healthy foods and get enough exercise and rest.  She can take vitamins and have a good attitude and restful spirit.  She can even read the Bible aloud to the baby before it is born.  A woman can also do things that will be detrimental to her baby - going without food, drinking alcohol or smoking.  But there are many parts of the process that she has no control over.  The process of the second birth for our children is also a process that we want to have a part in and we can have an influence.  We can introduce them to Jesus by word and by our actions.  We can help to form their character which can in turn protect them from many bad choices and make it easier for them to receive the truth.  On the other hand, there are many things we cannot do in terms of the new birth process.  We cannot force them to believe or to submit to God.  We cannot convict them of sin or draw them; only God by His Spirit can do this.  As I took great care to be healthy while I was pregnant with my babies, I want to do my part to help my children come safely to the second birth.  I can't control the timing or the circumstances of this new birth any more than I could control their first birth.  Two of our babies came six weeks early.  Many were late, one even  came four weeks late, but all were healthy and born just on time by God's timing.  Some of our children have come to the new birth at a reasonably early age, some seem to be coming late.  As I learned years ago while waiting for our four week late baby, I can leave the timing in God's capable hands patiently and faithfully doing my part. 

                           *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   

Thoughts from Ruth Bell Graham's, Prodigals and Those Who Love Them:

                         The Possible and the Impossible

   We mothers must take care of the possible and trust God for the impossible.  We are to love, affirm, encourage, teach, listen and care for the physical needs of the family. 
      We cannot convict of sin, create hunger and thirst after God, or convert.  These are miracles, and miracles are not in our department.

My Part ( the possible):                 God's Part (the impossible):
  love - love expressed                       conviction of sin
  to pray intelligently                         creating a hunger and thirst 
       logically                                           for righteousness
       urgently                                           conversion
       without ceasing                               bringing to the place
       in faith                                                 of total commitment 
  enjoy being a mother                           showing us ourselves
  provide a warm, happy home                   as we really are
  minister to their physical                          (without ever
       and emotional needs                             discouraging us!)
       as I am able                                     continually filling us with
                                                                     His Holy Spirit for
                                                                     our sanctification
                                                                     and His service

                                  *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *    
Called, yet I feel so inadequate
Only You can grow a child.
You ask me do what I can do
Helping to raise a child!

I can nourish their bodies, Lord,
Only You can make them grow.
I can furnish their minds with truth,
But You can fill their soul.

I can change a diaper, Lord,
Potty train that sweet tot.
But You alone can clean their heart
Cleanse every sin and spot.

I can furnish a quiet home,
Filled with things good and pure.
But I can't enter their minds, dear Lord,
Countering sin's allure.

I can teach them modest dress
But the world might take its toll.
I can  fit them with garments, Lord,
You can outfit their soul.

I can teach them much truth each day
Showing them paths that're right.
I can model for them the way
But You embody the light.

I can give hugs and love and touch
Daily forbid them to fight.
Only You can give them life
You draw them to faith not sight.

I can point out a way that's wrong
But you convict them of sin,
I can open your Word to them
Your Spirit works from within.

There are many things I can do each day
But without you all is lost
Strengthen me Lord, to do my part,
I beg for your miracle most.

Lord, I count it a privilege
To partner in this little while;
That you would kindly welcome me
To help with raising a child!
                               -- Patti Lofgren


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