While our parents peel themselves off either the floor or ceiling, I’ll have you know that my wife and I are not expecting. But we’re helping to birth a baby. 🙂
Birthing a Baby
As you may or may not know, my wife and I are currently in sunny California training to plant churches. A better way to put it is we are learning how to lay the foundation of Jesus Christ from which a group of believers can grow, function, and express the life of its Lord. It is not easy, and it is all consuming. It takes time, patience, love, patience, faithfulness, grace, patience, hope, patience, a sense of humor, humility, and more patience. And I almost forgot to mention patience. Thankfully, Jesus Christ is the embodiment of all those things (particularly patience!), so it basically takes the Lord Himself to plant, grow, and sustain His church. Amen!
I am learning many lessons during this season. Oh, let’s face it, when we’re abiding in the life of the Lord, we’re constantly learning many lessons despite what season it is. And if our focus is singular, namely Jesus Christ, then we discover that everything we learn is by Him, through Him, and to Him. We learn Christ.
So, what of Christ are you learning, R.C.? I am learning that we’re birthing a baby. After living in an organic expression of Christ for three and half years, I found that I’ve had certain expectations. That particular church just celebrated its 5th birthday. But the church with which we are currently working is not quite 5 months old, yet. There is a marked difference between a newborn and a 5-year-old. So, while I’ve wanted to put my hands on things and “make” this new baby walk and run before she could even lift up her head, I’ve learned that we’re birthing a baby. When this newborn spits up or messes her pants, I’ve got to be there to willingly clean her up and love on her.
I’ve got four kids, and I never got upset with them for being a baby. Now, as they’ve grown, I’ve corrected them when they’ve acted like a baby, because they are no longer a baby. I expect them to act and function appropriate to their age. I don’t expect my 8 yo to drive the same way my 16 yo does. In other words, I don’t try to get them to develop beyond their capabilities, nor do I try to keep them functioning at a certain age level when they’ve obviously grown out of it.
Bundle of Joy
The same principle applies to a new church plant. This girl is a newborn! I have to stifle any frustrations and gush over her progress. We’re birthing a baby. I can’t compare her to her older sisters, because she hasn’t learned to function in that way, yet. We’re birthing a baby. This is a beautiful and very young Bride of Christ. All the potential is there, and the Lord Himself will grow her in His timing. We’re birthing a baby.
And I have gone ga-ga over this church. The Lord loves her, and so do I. She is amazing! Just as I fell in love with my own kiddos, so have I fallen for this babe. Her eyes sparkle with the light of her Father. Her smile reflects the brilliance of her Bridegroom. Her chubby, little cheeks flush warmly with the love of her Lord. She is holy and blameless. She is beyond shame and condemnation. She is in Christ, and He is in her. She is the mystery of Christ, and she reveals His glory. She is His, and no one nor no thing can ever take that away from her. She is precious in His sight, and He delights to fill her with all His fullness. This is one incredible baby!
So, what have I learned from this ongoing experience? I’ve learned to care for and love this dazzling little darling. She is full of the Lord, and He will manifest Himself in and through her in His timing. Before you know it, she’ll be displaying His life in all her fullness, and this little girl will grow up into her marvelous destiny.
And all creation will rejoice.