The discomfort of early labor hoodwinked this first time mom into thinking, “Well, this isn’t so bad.” As I breezed through each mild contraction, I thought, “The woman on the prenatal video must have been screaming for dramatic effect!” Three hours later when the HARD labor kicked in, I felt my sister’s pain (literally)! Flip-flopping on my staunch position regarding “no drugs,” I informed the nurse of my change of heart. Smiling sweetly and patting my hand, she said, “Honey, we are way past the drug option.”
You may not be familiar with the labor pains of childbirth, but all of us have experienced the labor pains of life.
A difficult working environment.
A loss of income.
A difficult marriage.
A cancer diagnoses.
As childbirth labor comes unexpectedly and grows in intensity, so too can the labor pains of life. They can rock our very faith foundations. In honesty, they cause us to doubt both God’s love for us and His ability to be in control.
They immobilize us to the point where we can barely breathe an S.O.S prayer! Floundering beneath wave after wave of pain, we berate ourselves because we are questioning, despite the fact we watched the video, read the manual, and had a well thought out plan for facing the pains of life. We struggle with guilt; barely able to swallow a spoonful of truth while trying not to drown in the bucketfuls of scriptures some well-intentioned believers bring and pour on us.
On such an occasion in my own life, all I could do through the pain and tears was sing repeatedly, “Jesus Loves Me.”
A friend told me her story of lying with her face to the wall, being able only to hear a voice singing, “Jesus Never Fails,” over and over again.
Have you been there, friend? Are you there now?
Asaph, an organizer and leader of the temple’s choir during the reign of King David and Solomon, was familiar with labor pains (Psalm 73). God’s goodness, the very thing that Satan called into question in the Garden, was Asaph’s struggle. It is often ours today.
Asaph knew the truth of God’s goodness. He had seen it in the past! But yet, because of current labor pains, he finds himself battling unbelief. He admits he “almost” stumbles and loses his footing.
In an attempt to devour the shepherd’s sheep, the demons of doubt descend, not when the sun is shining, but the moment darkness falls!! (Have you noticed sheep that have gone through intense pains are the sheep most like their shepherd?)
How many times, as Asaph, have painful circumstances caused our feet to slip, and caused us to question God’s goodness?
I am so thankful for the word, “almost!” Asaph regained his footing when his battle with disbelief failed to defeat him, but forced him instead to God. Though we may experience times of stumbling and doubt, like Asaph, we can be assured we need not fall!
In those times when we are too weak; too overwhelmed to hold onto to God, Jehovah Shammah never loses His grip on us (vs. 23)! He holds us, not just until we get to the place where we can stand and move on, but continues to hold us until the day we reach glory (Isaiah 46:4, Psalm 48:14).
May you who are experiencing labor pains in life, rest in His capable hands with the confidence that despite your current numbness and excruciating pain, God will carry you through!
“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Psalm 73: 25-26