The gift of new life

     My favorite author of all time is the Author of Life. He wrote the story of creation and He also wrote the story of how to begin a new life in Him. So that also makes Him the Author of New Life. I love His work and I love Him (very much). He creates life of all kinds; of humans and of animals. I witnessed new life come this past weekend and it was beautiful and it reminded me of my new life in Him. How does the new life of a piglet compare to my new life in Him? Here are five ways:
1. It’s a little painful
So, yes the intro is correct. I witnessed the birth (or “after-birth”) of seven little piglets this past weekend. My friends’ pig here in Albania was expecting and she finally managed to pop them all out. It came as quite the surprise and we were all in awe. My friend’s husband ran to the front porch with the smallest piglet, the runt of the litter, in his hand. It seemed to be in critical condition, squealing and screeching. It wasn’t ready to be separated from it’s mama or to have to sun piercing it’s eyes just yet. In order to to live, she was giving up a lot. She was giving up her comfort…just to live. And it hurt. And it was a lonely place. But she was small and she had to live.
I feel like that a lot in regards to my regeneration in Christ. Comforts are taken away. I feel isolated at times and I am called to live a life characterized by being different. A life known for the fruit it bears by knowing Him. I have to give up my comfort, just to live. To really live. But in exchange for momentary pleasures I get to do just that. Live.
-For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  -Paul the Apostle (Philippians 1:21)
-Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
-By their fruit you will recognize them. -Jesus (Matthew 7:16)
-Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. (1 Peter 4:12-14)
2. you need A LOT of help
     The newborn piggies needed a lot of help just to survive. It’s cold right now and they need eachother to keep warm. I watched them huddle up together to fight back against the harsh weather conditions while waiting for their umbilical cords to be cut. They could not cut those off themselves. The little one that we attempted to nurse to  health with warm milk from the kitchen and time in the sun had no way to make it from the pig pin to us (though she probably didn’t want to anyway – not the point). She needed help even if she didn’t realize it. They all did. They all needed to be placed in the sun  in order to receive a bit of life. They were new to the world and wouldn’t have been able to make it on their own.
Boy oh boy, do I need help from Jesus. I just need Him, period. I need His love – desperately. I need help. I need Him to rescue me daily. From myself. From my thoughts. From my wickedness. It’s a daily walk. A daily rescue. I’m screeching and squealing like those baby pigs for Him. And He comes. He rescues. He helps. And…He gives me new life.
But as for me, I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; LORD, do not delay. -King David (Psalm 70:5)
-And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew 6:13)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
3. you are totally dependent
     This falls under the “help” umbrella. Those piglets could do nothing for themselves at the moment of birth. Some could barely walk. They were dependant on their mama. They were dependant on us. They needed…someone to carry them. They needed eachother.
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trying to keep eachother warm
As for the Christian life, dependence goes without saying. I need a saviour. I need THE SAVIOUR. I am completely dependent on His sacrifice and will for my life. I know no other way at this point. I know no other antidote. I know no other…anything. And this may appear to be weakness but…
-That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)
4. there’s a lot of milk involved
     From the time they pop of the wound until who knows when, those little pigs are going to be fixated on some milk. They need it to grow. They need it because it’s good. They need it to survive. Sweet(?) milk from mama. Watching them feed is quite mesmerizing. They are basically blind trying to grasp on to one of mommy’s nipples just to get a taste of her sustenance.
Like newborn infants, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, since you have tasted that the Lord is good.  -Peter the Apostle (1 Peter 2:2-3)
Christians need milk to grow (^), but not the milk the piglets needed. We need spiritual milk. We need God’s word to feed on. To take it all in and grow. It is impossible to grow without that milk. It is the wellspring of life and without it we are nothing; we are stuck and never get out of the “baby” stage. It definitely requires a lot of prayer, but with God anything is possible and He has already provided the milk: 66 books, 1,189 chapters. All right there for us to indulge. As sweet as honey from the honeycomb.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
    sweeter than honey to my mouth!
 I gain understanding from your precepts;
    therefore I hate every wrong path
(Psalm 119:103-104)
Patience…
5. It often times involves death
I’m not sure what percentage of piglets from an average litter survive, but perhaps it is far-fetched to think that all of them do. A lot of them are born and it’d be silly to think that all of them survive 100% of the time, especially in such harsh weather conditions. Not only that, but the birthing process can be such a strain on them that they don’t make it in the end. One of my friends’ piglets didn’t survive through the cold winter night. An involuntary death.
But did you know that we, as Christians, are called to die daily. Mainly to ourselves, but also to the pleasures of this world. So this last point kind of reflects all of the previous points. Because we are called to die. Death obviously isn’t easy and it is obviously very painful. In order to die, A LOT of help and dependence are needed. For sustanance and provision, we turn to Jesus and the Word of God. And because of this death, we grow just as we do by drinking our spiritual milk. This death is for our own protection. We gain a soul and not the whole wide world. We get the greatest gift that there ever was and will be. We get Jesus. With Jesus, we get grace. We get mercy. We get help. We get a high priest, but we also get a friend. He is everything that is necessary to live this new life because He is the New Life. It is found in Him and in Him alone.
In the end, the piglets are doing just fine. And so are we who are found in Him.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. (2 Corinthians 5:1)
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Pigs are pretty friendly, btw

2 thoughts on “The gift of new life

  1. This is so beautiful. It reminds me that I will always need that milk. And His creation is such a beautiful thing. We take for granted on the daily is His masterpiece that is right in front of us. Thank you for sharing with us your inspiration and vision.

    Like

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