My Fitness

Friday, September 1, 2017

saved through childbearing

Let me describe contractions to you. In my five pregnancies this is the first that have been like this. (And even this pregnancy, it's not normally this bad)

Imagine sitting around minding your own business when you suddenly notice you need to take a deeper breath. Then you get a slight headache right behind your ears. You may need to gasp slightly for another breath when you get jabbed on the top of your head with something that feels like a dull rock. It drags down your spine and plunges its fist completely through your abdomen where it finally reaches up your chest to your throat to choke your neck. Meanwhile your belly turns into a massive stone that pushes against your pelvis and your joints crumble in pain.

Then nothing.

At first this happens at intervals of 40 minutes for a few hours, then 30 minutes for a few hours, then 15 minutes for a few hours, then 10 minutes for a few hours. You might think, "ah yes, it's getting closer. I'm almost done." You pray that you'll see that little face in just a few more hours. This goes on all day.

And then nothing.

It all stops. You go to bed. No baby. No productivity. Nothing has happened except that you are now exhausted. There's no one to help you bear this burden. There's nothing that can help (unless you want a real medical intervention that puts your life and your baby's life at risk).

Why would anyone willingly go through this?

What did Jesus endure and why would he willingly endure that?

Jesus' death was more than being tortured and hung. That has happened to plenty of people. Jesus' death was a spiritual death that we cannot fathom. Becoming sin for us means he was separated from the godhead trinity. He was alone. No one could help him. Why would he let them do that to him?

It's because he loves me. He didn't want to see me die that way, so he died that way. He saved me. And it was not worth it at all. What he has gained from me is incomparable to what I have gained from him. There's no paying this debt back to him. That's just the way he likes it. He gave me a gift and if I then earned that gift it'd be about me. Since I cannot do anything in return, the focus stays on him where it should always be.

Accepting Jesus' death as your own and then submitting to him is the only way to life.

Jesus endured the cross because of the joy he knew was on the other side - joy of heaven and bringing us to himself there. I can endure my "cross" because of the joy that is on the other side - joy of heaven and bringing a little living being into the world. (Hebrews 12:2)

Today was rough with the false labor. Today was my due date. I hate this. But I could never look at one of my children and think that it wasn't worth it. If at all possible I'd like a pass, but it's not about me. Not my will but the Father's be done. Christ looks at me and says, "worth it." He asked for this cup to pass from him but set my example before me saying, "not my will but yours be done." (Luke 22:42) If Christ can endure the cross, then I can endure a bit of pain.

I come to my salvation just like everyone else: acceptance of the sacrifice that Christ made. Childbearing doesn't save me. When you see a verse like 1 Timothy 2:15, the "through childbearing" doesn't mean childbearing brings salvation. Read that "through" as "in spite of" or even "in spite of the feelings associated with". Like, "I feel like I'm dying and surely this is a sign that I am cursed and full of shame." But Paul says, "I know you feel that way, but you'll get through this. That's not true. You are not cursed. You are loved." And we are saved by faith...John Piper has a whole article on it here.

So, while I feel empty and alone and dying, I can get through this.

But if you wanted to bring me a pumpkin scone from Starbucks, that'd help.

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