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FIRST-PERSON: Holiday relaxation

DENVER (BP)–It was Jan. 6, 1998, and I was in a hospital room. It wasn’t me who was in pain; it was my wife.

The doctors were prodding, “Breathe, you need to take deep breaths,” and so I did, and I hyperventilated.

Meanwhile my wife was completely sane and composed, even though she was experiencing birth pains.

Her pain, coupled with my worry about it, created such a scene that I was asked to leave the room. I was thinking, why didn’t they ask her to leave the room? Irrational, of course, but it sounded sane at the time.

Before long I realized my causing a disturbance was about to disqualify me from experiencing a highlight of my life. I headed back into Labor, this time with every free medical eye watching to see if I would keep myself under control. Of course, I had a surprise for them; I was going to be a gentleman, standing back and allowing the professionals to do their job. This attitude survived for about a minute before I burst out, “What are you doing to my wife now?” My tone was accusation; my presence was threat; I walked toward the physician. (Afterward, I marveled that any other doctor would likely have punched me in the eye right about then.)

The doctor calmly answered my question with a question: “Do you trust this hospital, Mr. Romero?”

“Yes, of course; we have been coming here for years.”

“Then sit back and relax; your wife is doing fine.”

Oh yes, I thought, that will be easy; just look at the confidence they have instilled in me so far! Just then the nurses rushed in to work on me, as I am back to hyperventilating. “Okay, Mr. Romero, I believe you are about to have a baby,” the nurse said.

“No,” I thought, “not yet; I am not ready!” Apparently my wife had just the opposite opinion; she screamed out, “Finally!” In several minutes our baby boy was born, and Gabriel became the star of the day.

This Christmas season I can’t help wondering what our Heavenly Father must have been thinking as He awaited the birth of His Son; certainly He had to have been more composed and confident about the outcome than I was in my circumstances! (After all, He is God!) While the birth of a child is always an important and life-changing event in anyone’s life, the birth of Deity in human form was meant to change the lives of billions of people.

Celebrating our King’s birth is to celebrate His death, resurrection and eternal glory. It is also to celebrate our own new birth, our death and resurrection over sin, and our eternal glory with Him. But is it possible that we sometimes forget the capability of the “experts” in this birth process, namely the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? We may find ourselves busy pacing and asking questions, but God in His kindness in effect is asking us, “Do you trust this spiritual hospital?”

If we’re honest, we ought to remember to answer, “Why yes, of course, we have been coming here for years.” As we do, we will again hear God reply, “Then sit back and relax….”

May we all sit back and relax this holiday season in reflection on and care-free enjoyment of what God has done for us through the birth of His Son Jesus Christ.
Michael Romero is pastor of Iglesia Comunidad Cristiana, a Southern Baptist congregation in Denver.

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  • Michael Romero