The intensity of my wife's pregnancy happened when she was about to give birth to our daughter. The umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck and preventing her from coming out. The baby was turning blue and the doctor had to act quickly. The plan for me to cut the umbilical cord was nixed and the doctor worked zealously to save the baby. It all happened so quickly. By the grace of God our newborn daughter, Anabella, was born healthy, and we can say her birth was truly a "miracle birth."
As Anabella grew, she would see others getting baptized at church. She would often ask questions about God and salvation. Day after day we would teach her that a family is a team that works together. Every day we would sing about God, His family, His love for us, and the reason for His death on the cross. We would explain what Jesus taught Nicodemus in John 3. "Nicodemus thought to be a son of God and beneficiary of the promised inheritance simply because he was a Jew, but Jesus taught him that he and all must be born again to see and enter the kingdom of God," we'd teach her. "This new birth was by water and by the Spirit. If we accept our Heavenly Father’s adoption, we also get a new name like Abraham, Israel, Peter, and Paul. At baptism, we're now part of a new family, a new team, a new story and purpose, and we become His heirs" (Ephesians 1:3-14).
Last year she expressed she wanted to be baptized, and if possible, at the International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. When we asked her why she wanted to be baptized she responded, “I just want to be on Jesus’ team.” So we made plans for her to be baptized at Oshkosh.
This past August during the Camporee, Anabella, along with about 1,300 others decided to follow Jesus and be baptized! Anabella’s natural birth was a mix of fear, stress, anxiety, and joy. Their baptism, which is to say, their new birth and public confession accepting God’s mercy, grace, and adoption in His heavenly family was exciting, yet peaceful. It’s amazing how children can understand the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. There is no doubt in my mind that our new birth through baptism is also a miracle!
May God bless you and your family as you begin a new year!