Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Are You Laboring This Day/ This Season?
When we were expecting our first baby I obviously knew nothing about giving birth. Oh I loved babies. I loved maternity clothes. I loved thinking about baby names. I loved wondering whether we’d have a boy or a girl. Lots of things about our baby I was totally enamored with. Danny and I shared much wonderful delight in impending parenthood. We were so smart. We knew what to do. We had this down.
Then came the low back pain at 11pm. It came and went about every 30 minutes. Piece of cake. Finally about 7am the next morning, when I was positive it was not false labor (haha) we headed for the hospital. We had our suitcase packed with a boy outfit and a girl outfit. Everything we could figure out that we might need we had.
As labor progressed I remember wanting to hold Danny’s hand. And I did. Very tightly. He probably remembers that death grip. Although with the first birth I was whisked away from his grasp I still wanted his hand. Every single time I was in labor I wanted his hand.
Oh I planned the nursery, sewed the curtains, had the baby showers and talked about girl stuff with friends and family women. But when it came down to the hard stuff – the birth itself – I wanted my beloved’s hand and he graciously held mine. He never shied away from the hard times. Even when we almost had one in the labor room (I know there’s nothing like that anymore) he took charge. He grasped the bed and held my hand and told the nurse we were going to the delivery room.
By the time our son was born, I was an old pro! So was Danny. I held his hand in the car as we traveled across icy highways hoping we’d make it. I could have had the baby in the car and almost did. I was not afraid, because Danny had been with me before and I knew I could trust Him and could hold His hand through it all. I also knew that the blessing followed the pain and we’d have great joy to share.
Life is a lot like labor. We have our plans, we have our fun, we pick the flowers of spring, we enjoy the sunshine of summer, we walk through falling autumn leaves and we make snowmen. Each season has its own wonderful awe. But then we have to push through the hard times. They can show up any season and seem to show up when things are well planned and life is well and good.
God is most like a husband to us. He holds our hand and we hold His. He never lets go. He’s there in the good times and He remains in the hard times. We bury our heartsick faces in His chest and He comforts us and encourages us. He speaks and He says “You can do this. Keep breathing. We’re almost done.” We want to quit but He speaks again: “I won’t leave. I won’t let go. I will get you through this. Hang onto me.”
Oh beloved, God knows how much you’ve labored to live well, be blessed and avoid heartaches, trials and trouble. The same God who holds your hand as you trip through the flowers and taste the snowflake on your tongue is the same God who bends down to listen, grabs your hand to steady you and wipes your fevered prayer brow. He’s got this beloved. He’s got this because He’s got you. He’s never going to let go, quit, say enough, walk away or stop helping. Ever.
Whatever you are laboring in, laboring with or laboring over this day, this season: grab His hand for He’s already holding yours. Together you will get through it and give thanks for the outcome because God loves you and He’s for you and He’s proven that time after time.
Matthew 28:20 …and lo, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age.
Psalm 73:23 Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand.
Isaiah 41:13 For I hold you by your right hand--I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, 'Don't be afraid. I am here to help you
Psalm 16:8 I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.
Psalm 5:11 But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your name may be filled with joy.