McDowell Technical Community College

By Marlene Houk
Burke County

2 Samuel 22:33 — “God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.”

Isaiah26:4 —Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:”

Panic gushed through his soul as the pain gripped with an iron hand. It had been seven hours, and he could feel the push of the force that propelled him into the unknown. Dimly he heard the wail of the siren as he struggled against the darkness and the suffocating claustrophobia. He could barely see the light at the end, but he could sense the intense efforts of those on the other side as they assisted him. Finally, he broke free into the inviting bright light of the emergency room where a team of nurses, doctors and operating room technicians worked feverishly to assess, aid, and comfort his tiny body. He heard gentle sounds, two of which he recognized from his nine-month journey, and he relaxed, knowing that all was well. A new adventure had begun. Although he didn’t know what the future held, he knew that the familiar voices would be there with him.

New-he was completely new! He had no past, and he had no preconceived ideas and no understanding of the significance of the culture he had been born into. His slate was clean, and he reveled in the luxurious love that cuddled him like the softest Sherpa fleece. He also knew instinctively that he would be protected from the slightest threat of anything that attempted to thwart his parents’ goals for him. As his mind began processing hundreds of newborn impressions, his sleepy eyes watched the light shine on a warm and caring staff, and he knew he would thrive in this new world.

Just as this newborn baby was welcomed, praised for the accomplishment of his birth, and fulfilled the love and wishes of family, so the addict, when he is birthed into the heirship of the Kingdom is welcomed, praised for his decision to follow Christ, and treasured for his potential to glorify God.

These powerful facets of a new Christian mentioned above (love, affirmation, and purpose) nourish and grow that new creature referred to in 2 Corinthians 5:17. As the church, his family, begin to gather round at the altar, smile and welcome this prodigal son into the church, their love lights the darkness of statistical failure and weaknesses. As the LORD JEHOVAH gifts him with the Holy Spirit, and He sanctifies his spiritual gifts, providing him opportunities to serve in the Church, he is affirmed as a child of God. As his friends accept His Lord as Savior, and as others in his sphere decide to focus on Christ, this new convert is affirmed in his choice of faith over failure. And, as the fruit of his spiritual labors glorify God, he disciples others and repeats the new birth process.

…The converted addict lifted his wet face to the sky and praised the Lord of the universe for sending that ambulance full of Christians to help birth him into the family of God. His heart swelled with new life, and its rhythm filled his soul with spiritual strength and the all-consuming desire to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ! (2 Peter 3:18)

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”  Romans 6:4