Have you ever marvelled at how a baby develops and grows in its mother’s womb? Have you ever been amazed at the process of labour and birth? Or wondered at the bonding that occurs between a baby and its parents? These days it is common practice for midwives to place a new-born baby straight on to its mother’s chest immediately after birth. If a baby is placed in direct skin-to-skin contact with mum (or another care-giver) it helps in the bonding process, stimulating mum’s brain to produce hormones involved in the production of milk, feeding and feelings connected to guarding, protecting and love. For the baby it is beneficial for physical, emotional and nutritional reasons. The baby can hear mum’s heartbeat and breathing, see her face, feel her warm skin and soon smell and taste her milk. Skin-to-skin contact helps to de-stress and calm a baby after birth and stabilise their heart rate, breathing, body temperature and other physiological functions such as blood sugar levels. I am often struck by the wonder and specialness of this simple technique, and it seems to me like an allegory for our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Skin-to-skin contact provides comfort, warmth, reassurance and a loving bond that can last a lifetime. Likewise, the closer we get to God then the more we get to know him and bond with him, and vice versa. The more we talk to Him in prayer, the more we ‘taste’ His word, the more we see Him in His amazing creation, then the more we can experience His comfort and love and become in sync, in tune, with Him and form a bonding relationship with Him. We are like new-born babies, needing to be fed and nourished and needing God’s loving arms around us. We need to be nurtured, and taught to know and understand His purpose. It is a two way process. God does the feeding, the teaching and the guiding but we have to be willing to listen, learn and grow. What a lovely picture this paints. “Like new-born babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.” (1 Peter 2:2, NIV) pershore.bible pershore-christadelphians.org

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