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Whoa Baby!

There are few things more miraculous than the birth of a baby. An event that sizzles with celebration and hope. Though the event is glorious, no one would argue that the process can be grueling.

Did you know that there are many things written about giving-birth in the New Testament? Most of these things relate to the birth of the new heaven and earth. One of the insights Jesus made Himself, “You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars…nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…there will be famines, earthquakes…but all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” (Matthew 24:6-8)

This passage could almost substitute for a spot on our local news, couldn’t it? Many Christian leaders today agree that we are walking out the prophetic fulfillment of this verse. The world is being squeezed. There is a tightening, some alarm and shortness of breath. In keeping with this metaphor, what are we supposed to do at the ‘beginning’ of birth pangs’?

Pain brings gain…
When a woman begins labor and delivery, she must learn not to resist pain. If she fights against, ‘birth pangs’ then she is actually resisting her and the baby’s deliverance. Pain must do it’s work. It is one of life’s circumstances where the saying, ‘no pain, no gain’ holds true.

We stand on the edge of a birth ourselves. When Jesus said, “these things must come to pass,” He is letting us know some hard stuff is ahead. What can we do about it? Well, we don’t have to become masochists, but we do have to stop being such wimps.

The beginning of birth pains represents a chunk of time when you can still do something. For the woman giving birth, it’s the point at which she feels strongest and is still thinking clearly. Jesus uses a metaphor here that lets us know, ‘It’s time to get ready’.

1. -Time to focus on what matters and set aside distractions.
“…let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” (Hebrews 4:12)

2.  Time to Work while there is still time.
– “night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4)

3. Time to get a grip on yourself, not allowing panic to steal your strength.
– “casting all your anxiety on Him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

4. Time to fast. Early labor, signals the start of a fast.
– “Then the king went off to his palace and spent the night fasting, and no entertainment was brought before him.” (Daniel 6:18)

5. Time to stand and face up to what is coming. Recognize that pain brings gain.
– “Consider it all joy…when you encounter various trials…” (James 1)

Kathleen Dillard

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