The radio was on while I was making a cup of tea a few days ago, and I heard an item on the BBC news that caught my interest. It described an extensive medical study of 72,000 women who’d experienced a failed pregnancy. The research shows there’s no medical reasons against couples trying again soon, which goes against present advice that it’s best to wait for six months. That’s helpful information for people to know – and you can read more about it at:

When I heard this it sparked my imagination and I sensed there was another application to this too – for followers of Jesus. It’s this: that after a failed ‘new birth’ we don’t have to wait. When we share our faith with someone who doesn’t seem interested, we can sometimes be disappointed and then wait a while, or even give up. But we don’t need to. Instead keep trying.

The apostle Paul says something very similar to the church in Galatia, who are tempted to slow down, or give up when showing the love of Jesus. Instead he urges them to ‘not become weary’ but instead to recognise that fruitfulness will come ‘if we do not give up’ (Gal. 6:9). The same is true when telling of the love of Jesus – for his gospel is such good news!

This medical study showing there’s no need to wait felt like a particularly apt message for me to hear that morning, as I was just about to leave to travel to London for a national consultation on evangelism, hosted by CEEC. Interestingly one of the messages that emerged from the day was this: that while new life is the work of God in which we join, we must also be brave, especially if we’ve had a knock-back, and keep sharing Jesus with others. It’s so easy to give up for a while, but instead we’re called to be attentive and vulnerable and to keep going. 

So – missional disciples of Jesus – we don’t have to wait six months. If we want to see new life, and people born into God’s kingdom, we must keep trying.