Archive for June, 2008

A Word Please?

June 17, 2008

I simply cannot express how it pains me to begin this devotional. Why? Because to do so, I am forced to use a phrase that I’m not ready to use. Just . not . ready. I know that I am a mother of 5 children. I am aware that 4 of them are teens and one is halfway through college! I understand that I am no longer 20-somethin’. (Heck, my marriage is 20-somethin’.) But knowing these facts deep inside my brain, and saying them out loud, are two different things. However, in the interest of becoming more mature and less vain, (and in the interest of finally getting to the message) here goes . . .

Almost 20 years ago, (That’s the criminal phrase. How in the world has it been that long? Seriously? How? – sorry) . . . Almost 20 years ago, (sigh) I sat in an obstetrician’s office, nearing the end of my first pregnancy, in the process of having my excitement exchanged for fear.

Week after week, the doctor continued to comment about my not gaining weight. It seemed that my weight gain had stopped progressing at about 7 and 1/2 months, and every week, she commented about it. Every week I tried to tell her that my fat-girl pants and skirts were getting noticeably tighter around my noticeably bigger belly, and at the same time, my arms and legs were getting thinner. (Think Mrs. Potato Head.) It made perfect sense to me. My baby was growing, while every other part of me was shrinking. All I had to do was look in the mirror – it was seriously, very obvious. It seemed that my body was losing weight at the same rate that the baby was gaining. The doctor ignored my non-medical school observations and only cared what the scale told her. Since it was my first prego experience, I wasn’t sure enough of myself to protest.

Every week, after weighing me, she wrote secret doctor things in my chart. On this particular day, however, with only one week until the due date, she dropped the bomb about her secret.

“Since you haven’t gained any weight for the last six weeks, I must assume that the baby is not growing. Because he/she should be gaining more weight at this point than at any other time during the pregnancy, there must be something wrong. I’ll send you for an ultra-sound to determine if the baby is even big enough for me to induce labor. (Apparently, babies under 5 pounds don’t fare well in the induction process.) If he/she is anywhere near 5 pounds, we’ll induce. If not, the baby could die.”

Bedside manner was not her specialty.

I remember little of the following week except fear and tears and tests. There were ultra-sounds that suggested that the baby was “approaching” 5 pounds and therefore “medically viable for induction.” There were forms to sign giving permission to ” induce labor despite blah, blah, blah . . .”. Suddenly, nine bliss-filled, medically uneventful, eat-all-you-want months turned into a nightmare that I was not prepared to process. So I did the next, hormonally logical thing. I blamed God.

God, what’s the matter? What have I done wrong? What’s going on? Are You here? The doctor said . . . The ultra-sound technician said . . . Why is this happening? Can’t You do something? What if . . . There’s no reason for this God! What good can possibly come from this? Are You listening?! Do You hear what they’re saying?!

In the midst of my desperate, faithless, whining, I heard God’s still, small voice speak 5 words that changed everything:

Those are not MY words.

In an instant, everything changed. In an instant, I knew that He was in control and had not left the throne. In an instant, I understood that I had swallowed fear in massive doses without once consulting Him – the One who has the last word on everything.

The next few minutes featured a very pregnant short girl on her knees. I repented and promised God that I trusted Him with the outcome. I trusted Him to equip my husband and I to handle whatever happened. I asked Him to speak louder in my head than the doctor’s words. I began to realize that, though this situation had caught me completely off guard, it had not surprised Him at all. I forced myself to stop mentally reciting (worshiping) the doctors’ reports.

Those are not MY words

Two days later I was in the hospital holding my new, over 8 pounds, perfectly healthy, perfectly perfect, perfectly lookin’-like-his-daddy, baby boy.

Don’t you just love it when God knows what He’s talking about?

Those are not MY words.

How incredible is that? No 5 point sermon. No lengthy, guilt-inducing speech beginning with, “Oh, woman of little faith!” Just a gentle nudge to remind me that I had forgotten whose words I should be seeking and listening to and meditating on and trusting. A short but powerful glance at myself from His perspective.

God has much to say about each and every aspect of our lives. Whatever burden you are carrying – voluntarily or otherwise – He knows about it. I am convinced that He has a life-giving, burden-lifting, eye-opening, soul-healing, joy-imparting, world-changing word for E*V*E*R*Y setting we find ourselves in. And the bonus is that HIS words are not simply sweet little doses of encouragement – they are power and life and healing and deliverance and peace and so much more! And they are available to us as believers . . . simply for the asking.

Your word is a Lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path. (Psalms 119:105)

This Book of the Law (Your Word) shall not depart from my mouth but I shall meditate on it day and night. (Joshua 1:8 )

The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord. (Psalms 27:33)

I will make known to you the path of life. (Psalms 16:11)

I know the plans I have for you. (Jeremiah 29:11)

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. (Psalms 32:8 )

In Him . . .

(Also posted at The Internet Cafe’)