Nearly 10 months ago I gave birth to our second child and it was then that I really began thinking about all that labor and delivery tell us about God. These are my reflections:
- God is a "man of His word". He says it and it is. He speaks and it comes to pass. From His mouth is truth. And He said waaaaaaay back in Genesis 3:16 that delivering babies would hurt, "I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children." I mean, I believed Him, because it was Him that brought the pain about because of sin, but it wasn't until I experienced birthing my girls that I truly began to grasp that concept. It hurts. It hurts because He said it would. ALL mommy's (no matter how we delivered), since the beginning of time, can attest to this truth!
- God uses pain to draw us to Himself. I love listening to birth stories. It's through these stories that I've learned we all share in this truth: we all struggle and we all are blown away by this miracle of life! It is through pain that God disciplines, refines, and produces growth. Labor and delivery is like sandpaper. We use sand paper to grind on a rough piece of wood and with enough time it is smooth - refined. I truly believe the pain we experience is used to produce growth. And it is through pain that we learn to rely on Him. Dave Zulegar said the most amazing thing to concrete this truth into my mind, "God is good to give us the greatest gift He can give us, which is more of Himself, and He's good however He chooses to deliver that gift." (Read that article here: Can a Good God Bring Pain?) I can personally attest to the fact that He used pain in my life to give more of Himself. It's in these birth stories that this truth is revealed: He gave me tremendous gifts through labor and delivery. I received more than the gift of my children the day I experienced the pain of delivering them! I received more of Him! As a result, I changed so much! That is why those birth stories are near and dear to my heart and are so much of who I am today. I am not the same person I was before becoming a mommy. I think that is one of the main reasons mommy's share their stories whenever we get together. It's so exciting to talk about how God used our pain to draw us to Him!
- Our God-given roll to birth children is an incredible privilege! We get to personally participate in God's plan to create people! This miracle of creating life was given to women and we need to see it more as a blessing and less as a curse.
- He is a God of miracles. There is absolutely nothing more miraculous than the conception, growth, and delivery of a baby. Being part of that process first hand gives mothers wonderful insight into His miraculous, sovereign, almighty, and beautiful work.
- God glorifies His name and exalts His word through labor and delivery. Psalm 138:2 reveals that God exalts above all things His word and His name. How does He use labor and delivery? The exaltation of His word comes to pass when Genesis 3:16 is revealed as true. We should give glory and honor to His name as we participate in the privilege of bringing forth (and growing) life. We can echo David's prayer in Psalm 139:13-18 because we understand, from firsthand experience, God's mind boggling omnipresence, miraculous power, and His limitless care for His children, "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand." He is limitless. He is ever present. He is all-knowing. He is wise. His works are worthy of praise. He sees all. He does all. He sets limits. He creates breath. He is unfathomable. Labor and delivery reveals all of that! What a miracle! What a privilege that we get to experience that! So THANK YOU Lord for the pain, the growth, and the stories that reveal YOU.