..."popsicles on the porch"...what a great afternoon treat and our favorite way to spend time together! These are simple and precious moments! Princess #1 and Princess #2 along with Little Man #1 and #2 are my inspiration for most of these writings.

Monday, March 17, 2008

0 Days to Go....

and still waiting!

A few years ago, before the birth of our first child, Tim and I took a Christian birthing class. I learned a lot of valuable information, not only in preparing for the physical act of giving birth but also in preparing emotionally and spiritually.

As I was reading over my classroom notes the other day I came across a devotional on perseverance. Perseverance requires patience and waiting on the Lord.

Patience and waiting on the Lord. Wow...how appropriate being that I have reached my due date and still NO baby!!

As I wait, I've been reminded that even through the painful and yet beautiful experience of child birth the Lord is continously revealing himself to us, sanctifying us and drawing us closer to Himself. From beginning to end i.e enduring 40 weeks of pregnancy, waiting for the onset of labor, perseverance through labor, surrendering our bodies to the process, exercising patience, trusting the Lord for a healthy delivery, etc...I am reminded of what it means to surrender myself completely before Him. And that as I do, all these things and more the Lord can and will work in and through me as I seek Him. Wow...what a bigger vision of childbirth and the sanctifying work Christ is doing in and through us!

So, here I am patiently waiting on the Lord! Below is an excerpt on Birth and Rebirth taken from my class workbook from First Birth Ministries. It highlights the beauty and awesomeness of childbirth and how it parallels to our own spiritual journey.

Birth and Rebirth (by Kadis Greco RN)

God uses the physical process of labor and birth to point us to who He is and what He has done. When one looks at pregnancy, labor and birth, it is no coincidence that the gestation is 40weeks. The number 40 is associated with a period of time spent searching, wondering, listening, receiving, etc... The time periods completing 40 in scripture, all seem to have as their common denominator, "a period of preparation" before an "important event or ministry".

  • The Israelites wondered in the wilderness 40 years after being freed from slavery in Egypt and before entering the land promised to their ancestors.

  • Moses spent 40 days on top of Mt. Sinai, speaking with God in the midst of the thunder and the fire, receiving the Ten Commandments for the people to follow.
  • Elijah underwent a period of 40 days discovering that God is not necessarily present in the thunder and the fire, but speaks in a barely audible still small voice.
  • Jesus faced three different temptations in the desert.

Within all these periods of 40, there is something new being formed. It’s not too far a stretch to say that these experiences resemble the 40 weeks of formation that all humans experience in their mother’s womb.

It was a time when God was teaching His people who He was/is preparing them for the work He had ahead for them. The same is true in pregnancy. The ministry of parenting is eternal work and blessing that God is giving us. He wants to prepare us.

There is a wonderful illustration of God's love and sacrifice for us if you simply look at birth. Just as a mother becomes burdended by the increasing weight of her baby in the last trimester of pregnancy, and she carries this weight and burden on her body, making simple tasks more difficult, so did Jesus take upon His phyical body the burden of our sin by voluntarily going to the cross for us. He physically bore the weight of the crossbar as He walked up to Calvary, and bore the full weight of our sin.

As a mother labors, she submits her body to a power she has no control over. Scripture is very clear that even the physical event of birth is something that God does, not man. She suffers and travails, experiencing pain. Not the kind of pain that means something bad is happening, but it is the kind that means something good and wonderful is happening, her baby is coming forth to be born. (first birth) Jesus upon the cross, sacrificing Himself (to the point of death) so that we could be born spiritually, (second birth) to live with him eternally.

Notice that even the cardinal movements of birth (the series of movements a baby must go through before and during his journey of birth) parellel with the steps of salvation.

1. Baby--He is surrounded by darkeness inside the womb of his mother, only able to see difused light. Man--Sinful man is in darkness, unable to see clearly, blinded by his state.

2. Baby--He is bound to the uterine wall (placenta) by he umbilical cord (2ft long)totally dependent on his mother and God to set him free. Man--Man is in bondage to his sin. He is totally dependent on God to set him free.

3. Baby (Flexion)-- As he is readied for birth, his head is flexed forward, his chin resting on his chest, looking downward at his chest (heart). This MUST occur in order for the baby to be born normallly through the birth canal. Man--as he is forced to look inward at his heart, he realizes he is a sinner. Man MUST realize this before he can come to a saving knowledge of Christ.

4. Baby (Internal Rotation)--The baby must begin to turn to look down, so that his head will maneuver through the birth canal. Man--must repent, turn away from sin, the old ways.

5. Baby (Extension)--As he is pushed downward into the birth canal by the force of the contratctions, he has no control. He begins to extend his head upward, toward the outside world. Man-realizes he needs God. This can only happen through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, not His own power. He needs a Savior and turns to look upward to the Light of the world, asking for forgiveness. He accepts what Christ has done, and wants to be with God.

Baby-As the baby descends, he passes through the amniotic fluid (98%). At a point in labor, the amniotic sac will break open so that the baby can come forth. Man--In most stories of deliverance in scripture, water plays a roll. Moses, placed in the water by his mother, was delivered from death. The Israelites passed through the Red Sea upon their deliverance from Egypt. Man is baptized, in obedience, to represent the death, burial, and resurrection.

6. Baby (External Rotation-Restitution)--Upon the birth of the baby's head, he must turn externally for the shoulders and the body to be born determining the birth completed! You cannot put a baby back into his mother's womb once that baby has been born. He is yours!Man--As man's heart changes inwardly and he repents, his outward behaviors change and repentence is complete by his life changes. Rebirth is complete! There is no going back for the man, after rebirth. Once he is reborn, he belongs to God!

Birth and Rebirth are both something that God does, not man.

Wow! As I mentioned earlier, what a beautiful reminder of the awesomeness of childbirth and how it parallels to our own spiritual journey!


Desiree' said...

Mel, that is really cool and would have never dreamed those correlations. Very interesting. Persevere my friend. . .I remember with Caleb and him being 8 days late how irritated I was with him and the rest of the world. You have amazing insight.

Love ya,

Terri said...

hi mel ~

just wanted to let you know i'm thinking and praying of you and Tim bunches...getting anxious with you!!

...i'm so busy with my families visit that i havn't gotten a chance to call you lately...

but wishing you well!!!

...anyday now right...hang in there girl!!!!

The Morrisons

Bethany said...

Hi- I found your blog through a friend of a friend of a friend. :) Just wanted to say thank you for posting this and thank you to the Lord for leading me to it today! You see my due date to have my baby boy was yesterday. At my dr.'s appointment today I found out that I have not progressed at all and am possibly looking at another 1-2 weeks before he comes. As disappointed as I was, I know it is for a reason, and the Lord is teaching me to exercise patience and perseverance. And this post has encouraged me and reminded me about the miracle that I am a part of right now. Thank you for this post and congratulations on your new little one!!!