Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ryan David

I sat quietly in a small room with no more than 15 chairs. At first, I was the only one there, but then a few others arrived to wait expectantly. There was nothing exciting, nothing extraordinary as we sat. A man wrote in a notebook as his wife kept him company. An older woman leafed through a magazine. A young couple chatted as they fiddled with their phones. I tried to patiently pass the time until I was told that it was time to meet him.

Ryan David Creek. Perfection wrapped up into 7lbs 13 oz, and 22” in length.

As I met him for the first time, I couldn’t help but think about this new life.  How God himself had formed this precious child in my sister’s womb. And I also couldn’t help but remember a giggly 16 year old Jackie telling me about her boyfriend, Matt.  Now, over 8 years later, I stared into the eyes of a little one who is half him, half her.

New life. Precious child. 

The parallels are just too striking for me.

I am quickly reminded of the new life that God has given to me, and has offered to anyone who would believe in Him. You see, I’m a sinner, and I can’t save myself. I was separated from God and on a path to an eternity without him. I was in desperate need of this new life. “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.” [Eph 2:1] 

But thankfully, the passage continues. “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved.” [Eph 2:4-5] 

As my sins entangled my hopeless body, I was brought into life. I was dead, but now I am alive! A new life in Christ is cause for great celebration, just as we celebrated little Ryan's birth today. Being brought into a living state is no small thing!

And here’s where the great news continues. Not only do I have new life, but I am God’s child. Did you catch that? To those who acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior of their life, God- the God of the entire universe- calls them children. Precious children. One of my favorite verses speaks to that marvelous reality. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”   [1 John 3:1]

With the images of new parents fresh in my head, I take a moment to change the roles.

God holds and embraces me.
He looks lovingly into my eyes.
He kisses me sweetly on the forehead.

The image is almost unreal, but it’s true. God paid a painful price for me, by sending His Son to die in my place, yet He considered me worth it. And although I have done absolutely nothing to earn or deserve it, he loves me like a father loves his child.

Have you experienced this new life? Can you call God your Father? If you never have, I would encourage you to check it out. The life and love that God offers is unlike anything that can be found on this earth. For those of you who have, I challenge you to take a moment now to praise God for His grace and unconditional love in your life.

Welcome to the world little guy, and thanks for bringing me back to the One who made it.