It’s true – every single person you know used to be a baby. Not one person is too cool, smart or important to have bypassed the baby stage. We all had to be held because we couldn’t yet walk. Everyone had to wear those tiny mittens so we wouldn’t scratch our eyes out. We all had to cry to tell someone we were hungry (OK, guilty, I still do this). And, yes, someone had to wipe our bottom.
A few months ago my husband and I welcomed our very first child. We call him Milo. The first Sunday I felt brave enough to bring my fresh-immune-system-baby to church, we sat next to a dear friend who offered to hold him during worship. As she rocked my baby to sleep she looked at me and said, “Isn’t it crazy that Jesus was a baby … a crying and pooping baby?”
Not even our Savior bypassed the baby stage. I know how I’ve felt over the last few months with Milo – exhaustion, joy (so much joy!), fear, anxiety and love. As a new mom I read the birth of our Savior with new eyes. Mary, a young girl, told she is going to carry our Savior in her womb. She gave birth to Him and looked into the tiny eyes of the Man who would one day go to the cross and save us from our sins. She would spend many hours feeding, rocking, soothing and wiping the bum of our Jesus. Oh, the anxiety she must have had.
When Gabriel came to tell her the news that she would be expecting a child we read that “Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be.” Gabriel’s reply, “Do not be afraid.”
What a real phrase to a new mom: Do not be afraid! There is so much unknown as you look at a baby you will raise, as you try and decipher their cry, tend to wounds, teach them new things and watch them grow.
We need more than ever to hear those words, “Do not be afraid” – all of us! They are real.
As I lay my son down each night to sleep, I need to hear, “Do not be afraid.”
As you drop your kiddo off each day during a tough year at school, “Do not be afraid.”
As your teenager drives solo for that first time, “Do not be afraid.”
As your college student drives back to school after Christmas break, “Do not be afraid.”
I am thankful for the example of a mom who took on the task of raising our Savior – a baby who would come and take away all our fears and bring peace. May the peace of our Savior be with you.
Sammi Schultz is a preteen minister at Carterville (MO) Christian Church and a new mom.