Labor Pains

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For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. —Ephesians 2:10, KJV

The greatest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the wife of Feodor Vassilyev (b. 1707–c. 1782), a peasant from Shuya, Russia.

In 27 confinements she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets. . . . The case was reported to Moscow by the Monastery of Nikolsk on 27 Feb 1782.1 During the forty-plus years my husband was in business for himself as a contractor, he experienced labor pains of a different kind.

Often, on his return home each evening, he would share the excuses his employees had given for having to leave early or for not coming to work.

It soon became evident that most of the reasons were not very original.

They included such gems as, “Oh, I forgot! I have a dentist’s appointment, and I must leave now.” Those who offered this excuse left and were never seen again, not even to claim their wages! He also heard, “I had to go and buy my wife some milk,” or “I ran out of gas and could not come to work.” Once, a young man wanted to leave the job in the middle of the day.

The excuse he gave was “My grandmother died. I need to go to her funeral.” Ironically, my husband met the “dead” grandmother in town a few days later! In one of the most amusing accounts, Jack did not come to work because he was so sore from his first day of work that he could not pull up his pants! Frustrated, Harold told me, “I am going to write a book and call it Labor Pains!” Thomas Edison suffered from “labor pains” as well.

He noticed his workers were constantly watching the clock in the factory.

Without comment, he had dozens of clocks placed around the plant, no two keeping the same time. His employees soon realized it was easier to focus on their work than deal with the confusion of trying to figure out the correct time.

God has much to say about faithfulness in the workplace.

In 2 Thessalonians 3:10, Paul says that anyone who chooses not to work does not deserve to have food handed out to him. Strong language? Not really, for we are His workmanship, created to do good works. God values integrity in the workplace and in life.

Dottie Barnett

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