A loving mother will tell you that what she bore at birth was more than a child.
John 16:21 – A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
One of the most vivid memories in my mind is the birth of my second son. When our first son was born, it was not permitted that the father could be in the birthing room. But when my second son was born, the rules had been rewritten. So at the moment of his birth, I was there. I watched as my wife went through the labor (and I do mean incredibly hard work) of giving birth. I watched her, having carried a big baby boy to full term, listened intently to the directions of the attending physician. Despite her labor, she listened. She did whatever the doctor and attending nurses said. As smart as I thought I was, all I could do is stand beside her, touch her gently on the forehead, and do my best to encourage her in the work. I watched as the blood vessels in her forehead would swell to the point of appearing ready to burst. I watched as beads of perspiration seemed to boil from her face, and watched her face go from its usual complexion to one of a deep reddish tone when the doctor said, “Push.” On that 25th day of March in 1977, I came to a much deeper understanding of what it meant for a mother go “go through labor” in giving birth. Our Text for Today carries a much deeper meaning for me to this day for that reason.
Then suddenly it seemed the labor was over. I cannot say I know the level of discomfort she was still suffering, but when my son was born, the umbilical cord was cut, and a beautiful, healthy baby boy was laid on her breast, the flushed red face and swollen blood vessels were gone, and despite what she had gone through, her face glowed with joy for the birth of her baby; our second son. And for yet another reason our Text for Today lives vividly in my heart.
I don’t know what you may be facing today. I don’t know what battle may be engaging your faith at this moment. I don’t know the level of struggle or intensity to which you may be giving yourself at this moment. But one thing I DO know is this. The victory that overcomes the world in your faith; faith that pleases God; faith that moves mountains; faith that gives birth to the victory for you so valiantly fight. So if there is increased pressure today, if there is the voice of the Greater One on the inside of you whispering to you to “Push,” if the perspiration is so profuse as to drip from your face, hold on, my friend. There is a birthing, and that to which you give birth will be the next great victory in your life.
Manna for Today – John 16:16-24; Isaiah 66:5-10