Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Do you remember the moment when you decided to be born? This isn't our decision -- it's not in our power. Life is given to us, and we come into this world uncertain about all of it. I love that wild-eyed look in newborns who are trying to take it all in, trying to figure out just what this world is all about. I think some of their cries are because it's all so overwhelming, leaving behind the known world of the womb and entering loud, bright life. They cling to their mothers for safety and assurance.
When the Spirit gives us new life, it is God's doing, not something we earn or achieve. God brings new birth to us, and we are trying to figure it all out, trying to understand how to live in the world now that we have new eyes. We see things differently, and often we are overwhelmed by trying to see the world the way God does, trying to love when so much of the world is hard to understand, hard to love. God calls us to live differently, to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. It takes work, and often it's exhausting, and so we cry out, and God comes to us, comforting us, assuring us of his love and gracious provision, and then he sends us back out into the world, to love and serve.
This isn't easy, but God promises it is worth it, for as we grow in stature we grow in wisdom and understanding, and we see that living as God intends for us to do brings contentment and peace, things the world is so often striving for.
We come to God with questions, and while we never find all the answers, in Scripture we find the guidance we need to be encouraged, to feel loved, and to be sent.