Birth Pains

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Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. —1 Thessalonians 5:1–3, NIV

Though I never personally experienced the joys or the uncertainties of pregnancy, as a trainee midwife many years ago, I helped deliver and bring a few babies into this world. I witnessed moments of exquisite joy and excitement as the parents realized the responsibility of having brought a little life into the world.

At times during those training days in the early 1970s, I felt so inadequate, especially psychologically, to comfort some of the young unmarried mothers.

Many of them had been condemned and shamed by society.

Gripped by guilt, they were experiencing the keenest apprehension and fear of the unknown. I remember thinking to myself, There, but for the grace of God, go I.

Most of them had been pressured to sign their little ones over for adoption.

Their babies were whisked away immediately after birth and cared for in a separate ward until the adoption papers had been completed.

Then they would be placed in the arms of an excited couple who had come to the hospital to collect their baby. Recently, I started to think about the process babies experience as they pass from a place of relative peace and safety in the womb into a strange, new, and unfamiliar world. The whole miracle of childbirth led me to think about God’s protective wall around me. Daily He provides me with a place of peace and safety in His presence.

I am grateful that He gives me a whole lifetime, not just nine months, in which to grow and mature in wisdom, understanding, and obedience.

Not only does He give me ample time to get ready for heaven, but He also helps me to remain ready so that by His grace I will be able to enter my final destination and escape that day of destruction. One day, God’s promise to deliver us will finally be fulfilled.

When that day arrives, may we all go home with Him!

Margaret Ann Major

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