My firstborn had her firstborn today. The delivery process actually began a few days ago. The really tough part began last night. The part that fulfills Genesis 3:16 began this morning. Michelle's pain was greatly multiplied. But God's hand was firm and the beauty of a new birth unfolded for Michelle and her husband Kory. Sometime close to 11:15, Grace Elizabeth greeted the world with a cry.
It was a joyful experience for all who were there (I am not there; I am somewhere in South America). Tears flowed freely, and not just down Grace's cheeks. The multiplied sorrow and pain soon gave way to overwhelming joy and pride. The Psalmist captured the moment, though speaking of something else: Weeping will endure for a night; but joy comes in the morning. - Ps. 30:5 Someone just wrote me and said, "There's a happy dance going on here." Yes, joy comes in the morning.
Being a part that experience is unspeakable. Holding a newborn is delightful. Gaither's words were dead on:
How sweet to hold a newborn baby, and feel the love and joy [she] gives.
As joyous a thing as a birth, especially that of the firstborn, there is greater joy in the new birth, that birth that only comes by grace through faith in Christ Jesus and his finished work. When one sinner repents, there is joy in the presence of the angels. When one sinner repents, heaven takes notice. When a man or woman is born into the kingdom of God, the Godhead shines with joy. Angels thunder praises to the Lamb who was slain, and who is worthy. Saints in heaven fall on their faces.
Why is it, do you suppose, that we so often receive the news of the new birth with barely a yawn? Why--HOW--can we receive such news with stoic looks, when in heaven the King of kings is having a party over it? Could it be that we have become the elder brother of Luke 15?
I look forward to listening to my daughter and son-in-law as they describe all the new things that both they and Grace will discover in the years to come. I look forward to the joy that will bring. But I want to have greater joy over those newly born into the kingdom of God.
Kevin, Somewhere in South America