“When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:16-22)
During the birth of each of my children, my mom was there to tell me to relax my body in labor. “Don’t tense up,” she said while I labored. “You don’t want to work against your body.”
In the excruciating pain, I imagined myself breathing into the contractions. I tried to embrace the struggle. I knew the battle to give birth had an end and an outcome. God gently reminded me that pain can serve a purpose, and when the purpose is entrusted into his care, the outcome is remarkable.
Although we struggle through uncomfortable and even excruciating situations here on earth, God offers us encouragement, “Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
We know that the Christian walk is not an easy one. It’s filled with painful times, hard choices, and big sacrifices.
Today, I want to encourage you to lean into the ache of your circumstances like you might lean into labor. Ask God for his outcome. Make the hard choice to trust that God is sovereign. Decide to forgive, love, and move forward in hope – knowing that you will be honored for your obedience.
God offers us this hope. Your labor is not in vain. Your pain is not in vain. God is working a good work in you, and you can be confident “that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 1:6)
We are reminded that in him we have peace despite our circumstance. In him we have hope despite appearances. We are promised that our inward groaning has an end. We are promised that although we labor now, there is hope in the outcome. Just like labor leads to a baby, the outcome of our struggles is going to lead to something MIRACULOUS.