Each time He said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
I am not a fan of pain. I can do without it! As a general rule, however, I think that pain and childbirth come in the same package. During my first pregnancy, thoughts of labor and delivery consumed me. Until that point in my life, I had not experienced significant physical pain. I had many friends who touted not only the benefits of “natural childbirth”–but the great achievement it represented as well. In my opinion, they could have it!
I had a great pregnancy with very few complications–especially for twins. As my due date approached, however, a cloud of dread continually hung over my heart as I anticipated their delivery. I obsessed about the amount of pain I expected to experience.
I had my baby shower about two months before they were due. Again, as I spoke with my friends, I voiced my concern about labor and delivery. A dear friend told me something that gave me great hope. And I still recall it whenever I face difficult things. She told me a story from Corrie ten Boom’s book, The Hiding Place.
The ten Boom family lived in Holland; they hid Jews in their home during World War II until they were finally caught and sent to concentration camps. One day when Corrie was a young girl, she started to imagine about their future and told her father she didn’t think she could handle it if she had to suffer for her faith. Wisely, her father asked her, “Corrie, when we go to the train station, when do I give you your ticket?”
“Right before we board the train,” she replied. Then her father explained that just as he didn’t give her things before she needed it, her Heavenly Father never does either, and her worrying was getting her ahead of God’s timing.
My friend explained to me, since I didn’t need God’s grace for labor and delivery at that time, I did not have it. I needed and had God’s grace for a twin pregnancy. When delivery time came, God would give me the strength needed to endure anything and everything.
Their birth day arrived. God was faithful! His grace was greater than my need. I did not have a “natural childbirth”. I took full advantage of modern medicine! Even with that, however, I had considerable pain. But it was not beyond what I could bear.
I have recalled that experience – and Corrie ten Boom’s story – countless times since that precious day. Because I am a very analytical person, I like to “know what’s coming,” and to have reasonable control over my life. When I don’t, it is easy for me to become fearful. But God repeatedly reminds me of His past faithfulness, and I know that He will continue to give grace, as I need it.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Matthew 6:25-34