We are not our own......


Sunday, October 29, 2017


Dear Friends:


A book was recently published by Erica Komisar about the importance of a mother for her infant child. In fact the book argues that the mom’s intimate presence with the baby is quite important for the first three years  of the child’s development, but in a way a man or father could never equal.


More significantly,  a neuroscientist, Dr. Nim Tottenham, has determined that not only are infants biologically dependent upon their mothers, but that babies are far more neurologically fragile than ever before realized.  He remarked that babies are born without central nervous system(!) and that mothers are the central nervous system to babies—especially for the first nine months of life; but up until three years the mom serve an incredibly essential role for the baby’s development.   So every time a mother soothes or comforts her baby, she is actually regulating the baby’s emotion from the outside.


Now you might wonder why I am bringing all of this up.  I did not understand why this article caught my attention this past week until it hit me as I was driving in the car last night on a way to a dinner:  God chose the virgin Mary to carry His beloved Son; that same Son, Jesus, was born like all men are born—-vulnerable and fragile, just like the babies described above. He was not born a “super baby”, but into a very fragile environment. Jesus, like all infants, lacked this central nervous system and therefor was dependent upon Mary’s protection, care, affirming words and comfort for Him to develop as a young man.  What an honor that God chose Mary to be that mother!  But what a wonderful young lady Mary must have been to be chosen.  God trusted Mary with the emotional care of His Son and to see to it that He was properly loved, comforted, protected and nurtured.  I don’t think I have ever really grasped how incredibly responsible Mary was until I read this article in the WSJ.  What an amazing task to lay upon a young mother—and what a marvelous performance on her part.


But that does that have to do with me?  God has not chosen me to nurture the baby Jesus. But I also considered that God has given me something just as holy as the baby Jesus.  Paul told the Corinthians: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”. ..  I carry within me the Holy Spirit—-a part of the triune God!  Mary carried Jesus and was tasked with caring for that baby properly, but I carry God’s Holy Spirit within me and I am tasked with allowing nothing to cause Him (the Holy Spirit) disappointment,  discomfort or pain!  “I am not my own!”…is how Paul eloquently puts it!  I not only belong to God, I am carrying within my soul a part of Him. God forbid that my eyes, hands, mouth or imagination would  see, touch, speak or conceive anything that would hinder His work within me!


I was not born again or redeemed to pursue my own agenda, career, pleasure or personal enterprises, but to present my body as a holy sacrifice and  to be a dwelling place for His Holy Spirit—-no less than Mary presented her body as a proper dwelling place for the baby Jesus.


May God keep my eyes, hands, feet, tongue and mind clear and clean for His Spirit.




dean  barley,

Dean Barley

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