I think one of the (many) things that saddens me about movies is that they portray birthing as such an excruciatingly painful experience. Women who give birth on TV all scream and pant and sweat. That gives such a negative picture of birthing that I am amazed that anyone still wants to give natural birth! I remember having to fight fear with every one of my pregnancies – fear of the pain, fear that something might go wrong. Fear seemed to be the number one enemy of bringing those precious children into the world.
With bucketloads of grace, I was able to birth four children. I love every one of them passionately and every birth was vastly different. But the one thing I remember that the wise midwife told me was to never, ever scream! She said I needed to focus all my energy on pushing the baby out (and some of my babies were very big) and not to use the energy to scream my frustration out. That advice has helped me so much over the years – way past my childbearing years – to focus on the task, on what I am trying to birth, not on the pain, discomfort or length of time it takes.
I find it so encouraging in the word that God promises to deliver when it is time.
Isaiah 66:9 (NKJV)
Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the LORD.
“Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God.
In our lives, we receive seed all the time – good seed and bad seed. If we nurture the seed, it becomes a plant and, later, a tree. We will bring forth, or birth, from that – our fruit will come from our trees. So, if I accept seeds of negativity all the time, they will become a plant, which will then become a tree and I will birth fruit from it – negative fruit. Have you ever acted in a way or spoken in a way that you think, “Wow! Where did that come from?” I have had that happen both negatively and positively. When I have nurtured seed of criticism, for example, towards my husband, I am shocked to hear what can come from my mouth! Then I can make the Proverbs ‘dripping-tap’ woman fade in comparison to me! (Prov 27v15 &16)
If I take living seeds from, for example, the Word of God and nurture them, then they become plants and, later on, trees of life. I will reproduce what I have. I have had seasons when I spent a lot of time in the Word, and at times I was astounded at what came from my mouth – encouragement, hope, life! Nothing could get me down!
When I fell pregnant from my husband’s seed, our children became a unique mixture of our genes. No-one else’s genes played a role, only ours. It is the same with seeds from God: if we take those seeds and nurture them in our innermost being, He changes us and brings forth good fruit. It is God’s goodness that overrides our sinfulness and brings forth those fruits of life.
The season between receiving seed and birthing, in a normal pregnancy, is around 40 weeks. It takes the mother’s body 40 weeks, creating a safe environment, for that precious seed to grow into a baby. It works the same in life: there is a time-span between receiving seed and bearing fruit. But we don’t like it and every new revelation can become a stillbirth because we don’t want to take the time and effort to nurture it until it is big enough to birth successfully. Seeds need to be nurtured to become anything. Even hardy plants can have very finicky seeds. The time of receiving the seed is the most vulnerable time. It then needs to be nurtured especially well.
Our lives on earth matter; the fruit we bear matters. The truth is that birthing or bearing fruit is sometimes very uncomfortable. But the rewards are unequalled! The focus is not, like in the movies, the pain or travail. The focus is the reward. The reward of a baby, a new life. If we take the seeds of life and we nurture them, then a time of birth will come. The time of birth may sometimes be tough – if we birth a new business, or a new ministry, it is going to be difficult, but we then need to remember the midwife’s advice - don’t scream. Take the pain and frustration and channel it into prayer and contending for what God promised. While we are in the middle of birthing, we cannot just stop it and say, “I’ve had enough!” We cannot because that baby needs to get out! We need to encourage each other to push through, to channel our frustration into prayer to the One who says when the time comes, He will help us to birth. We are not on our own, He is there all the time with His promises.
Birthing is a sign of new, always a sign of HOPE. We are made, as humans, to bring forth new. We are created in God’s image and He birthed everything we see around us by the word of His mouth.
Hebrews 11:3 (NKJV)
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Birthing and bringing forth is part of His character and as we are changed from glory to glory; we should be expectant that the seeds that are nurtured in us will burst forth into birth.
We are all mothers-to-be, having the privilege to bring forth new life with and for God – for His glory. Seek good seed, allow it to penetrate the chambers of your heart, nurture it like a baby in your innermost being and then, beloved, push through so that life can be birthed through you. We were created for a time such as this – a time when seeds of life are so needed in a dark and lost world. Embrace your unique ability to bring forth the purposes and plans for God in your life. Don’t scream – push!
Women of Reverence welcomes Liesl Mare a regular contributor and you can read her bio here.