Please don’t think from the title of this post that I was in any way reflective or engaged in ‘spiritual devotions’ during childbirth! Far from it!! But there is one thought from my labour with Josiah that I still remember very clearly, despite having managed to forget most of the rest of the ordeal.
Josiah’s birth wasn’t completely straight forward – because he had to be induced, right from the beginning his heart rate was constantly dropping and setting off the alarms. Once I hit established labour everything moved very quickly: they started prepping for surgery but there wasn’t time, so we had a room full of people – midwives, doctors, paediatric doctors and I think possibly the odd person off the street. I can’t really remember, but it was pretty busy and slightly crazy. Thankfully Josiah was fine once he was born and didn’t need the paediatric doctors, so everyone left and it calmed down a bit.
But in all this stress, and even though I knew my baby desperately needed to be born NOW there was a moment where the selfish me thought, ‘If I could stop this, right now, I would. This is beyond what I can bear. If I had any control over this situation I would just end this.’ And as soon as I thought that, with total clarity I realised something very important about Jesus.
Jesus could stop his pain. He was in total control of the situation. There was nothing I could do about my pain – he could do everything about his. The only reason I carried on was because I had no choice. Jesus had total choice – and he completely chose our salvation over his pain. My love as a mother was not enough to overcome my sinful selfishness in wishing the whole thing would just stop. But Jesus’ love was so great that he endured it all, all the while knowing he could have made it just stop.
Thankfully there’s not a lot else I remember about that labour (gas and air is a beautiful thing), but I do remember realising in a very new and real way something about the love of Jesus. A love that was so beyond anything I can comprehend that he would willingly go through a pain far worse than labour with no gas and air, and all the while knowing that he could have ended the whole ordeal. He loved us with a love that was completely selfless. While as a mother with a baby who needed so badly to be born I could still find the selfishness to put my needs first, the selfless love of Jesus put us and our salvation first.