“Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.””
The birthing process is nothing I’d repeat, frankly.
Except I did. Twice.
Most of us who are mamas are repeat customers. Surely we must be entirely forgetful to undergo such a hugely painful process more than once.
The second time through, when those contractions hit for real, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
How could I have gotten myself into this again? I remember distinctly the absolute horror, the instant déjà vu, the sudden regret of my life choices.
But that baby, though.
Giving birth is a complex, scary, powerful, emotional train wreck of overwhelming sensations and feelings and pride and joy and anguish, all rolled into one.
For the one being birthed, I’m sure it’s no picnic either.
Being squeezed into an impossibly tiny space like a cork in a bottle?
Not my idea of a ‘good time was had by all’ byline in the local paper.
So I can imagine the shock and embarrassment of the man to whom Jesus spoke these surprising words.
I’m sure he had a very vivid picture of himself as a cork in that bottle – and I’m sure the conversation stopped point-blank.
I also find it fascinating that Jesus left the man to his questions. He offered very little explanation – just ‘humans reproduce human life; the Spirit gives birth to spiritual life’.
Talk about ‘things that make you go ‘hmmmm’.
But to compare a person’s entry into the kingdom to the physical birthing process is to point us to some fundamental truths.
Just as an embryo is implanted in the wall of the uterus, spiritual truth must take root in us in order to develop and grow. We all will experience a ‘pregnancy’ of sorts, the phase in which truth is introduced and begins to take hold, a fetus of spiritual form.
There is certainly hard work involved in a physical birth – muscles and tendons and hormones all work together to produce the child. In a spiritual sense, the hard work is all on God’s side. He sent Himself in the form of a baby, then suffered and died – a true labour of love.
The moment that we accept Jesus as Saviour by faith is the very moment our spirit comes to life. We move from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light – the Holy Spirit begins to instruct and guide and enlighten our understanding.
It is very like being ‘born again’, as Jesus called it.
And we can’t experience the kingdom of God without it.
Are you ‘twice born’?
My prayer is that if you aren’t, if you don’t really know why that means, that you will reach out and seek and search until you find your birthing process.
Your deja vu.
Because getting into that kingdom is all that matters.
Be born again with me?
Father, You desire for all of us to find the entrance to Your kingdom through Your Son Jesus. You offer this free gift with no requirement other than to believe that it is offered! Thank You for this amazing and generous proposal – help us all to reach out by faith and grab it! Amen.