Christian Life

New Birth through Travail


My sister is pregnant with her first child and is due the end of this month. As I was thinking about new birth for this month’s post, she kept coming to my mind. The more I thought of the process of pregnancy and childbirth, the more similarities I saw with the spiritual experience of the birth of revelation in a believer.

Yes, we are born again into Jesus Christ. However, I also think we have many “new birth” experiences throughout our journey in the Lord. In my own personal experience, and in the experiences of others I know, it starts with the deposit of life. A new truth or aspect of Christ or His purpose comes into view for us. We read something or hear something and it seems to “click”. We don’t even understand it fully, but we know something has happened. In the natural realm this is noticing those first signs of pregnancy. The new life within is unnoticeable to most. Only those close are aware of the changes taking place.

Over time, we think about, pray about, and talk about this new revelation. We are excited to share it with others and begin noticing it in places we had never noticed it before. We see it in scripture, songs, movies, books, our circumstances, and our goals. This truth is growing within us and others are starting to notice now, just as my sister’s stomach makes it undeniable that she is pregnant.

The possibilities of this new life/revelation/truth excite us. However, now is when the Lord brings about or allows circumstances that throw us into travail. Why? Because it is through travail that this new life becomes living to us. This truth has to become more than just truth. It has to become reality. This revelation has to be tested and proven. Simply grasping it mentally does nothing. Taking it by faith, in the midst of suffering, makes it more than knowledge. It proves it living. It proves it valuable. It proves it more real than our circumstances.

We know that for a baby to be born the mother must go through the travail of childbirth. We suffer the travail because of the gift of life it brings. Every struggle or suffering in the life of a believer has the ability  to end in a “new birth”. We waste so much struggle as believers constantly complaining about it and trying desperately to get out of it. Misunderstanding God’s purpose in it. Missing the Life we could have had on the other side of it.

Travail is never fun. It is painful, sometimes miserably so, but when we allow the Lord to bring new life through it, it is worth it. Just as the pain of childbirth is diminished by the value of the precious life it brings forth, travail to a believer is diminished by the value of the precious life it brings forth. And what is more precious than the increase of our Lord?

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