The Gospel in the Delivery Room

September 12, 2011 · 8 comments

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by Priya Samuel

“Come on, push! Don’t clench your teeth— you’ll divert the pressure! Oh… I think that’s a cystocele there…”

I was looking forward to an easy “drive thru” delivery. After all, this was my third child and my second labor was only four hours long. The pushing part was so quick! Plop! Instant joy!

But not this time…

Hubby Dearest was worried that I might turn into the Incredible Hulk with all the veins on my face and neck bulging. Labor was painful and difficult and it left a mark— a cystocele. That means if mommy isn’t careful, little baby won’t be the only one wearing the diaper!

Praise God for His grace— He blessed us with a healthy baby boy named Daven James and I had a quick physical recovery.

But I was also given grace as my faith was strengthened through this ordeal.

My husband shared my story with a woman at church, to which she replied with her face buried in her hands, “Oh my! The curse, the curse!”

And there, in the middle of my temptations to respond sinfully in self-pity or blaming my husband or my baby for my pain, the lights of hope came on! Let me explain…

You may have read what God said to Eve after she was caught in sinful disobedience in the Garden of Eden:

“To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.” Genesis 3:16

My difficult labor served as a reminder to me of the good news of the gospel.

Childbearing wasn’t supposed to be this way. Painful labor points us to our sinful nature—it is but a fraction of how offensive our sin is to a holy God. Pain in labor is a reminder to women that all is not well with the world.

But these pains are not a hopeless reminder. We can have hope because of the redemption promised in the preceding verse,

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15

In that verse God promised that a Redeemer would come and save us from our sin, crush Satan and restore all things! This is the Gospel! Hallelujah!

God in His great love and mercy has saved us from our own sins by sending His Son Jesus to pay the full penalty for our sin. Jesus satisfied God’s wrath against our sin by dying on the cross in our place. God the Father raised Jesus from the dead on the third day. Whoever repents, believing in Christ and His saving work on the cross, will not die but have eternal life and Christ’s righteousness will be credited to us. What an amazing exchange for undeserving sinners!

Oh, that we would live our lives at the foot of the cross. How we need the Gospel for our daily sanctification!

What do you think? Are there other gospel meditations we can make through the occasion of childbirth? How might you share this truth with a non-Christian friend who has just had a baby?

 


ABOUT THE WRITER
Priya is from Hyderabad and is trained in physiotherapy. Her husband Anand is a pastor at United Christian Church of Dubai. They have three boys with soul-searching brown eyes (Rohan, Aryan and Daven). Priya’s morning always starts with a cup of tea with evaporated milk and 5 tsp of sugar. She loves to search the Old Testament Scriptures to see how they point to Jesus.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa Welkner September 12, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Priya…this post is right up my alley as I just delivered our fourth child 6 days ago. We have three older boys and before we left for the induced labor each boy prayed for us. Our oldest boy (8 yrs old) prayed something like this, “Dear God, we know that before Adam and Eve sinned there was no suffering in childbirth and so with sin in the world I pray that my mommy’s suffering won’t be too bad”. I was dumbfounded by his prayer. You know what? Through each contraction (with pitocin and no pain relieving drugs) I thought about his prayer and instead of losing hope that I couldn’t “do it” I thought about the great suffering that a perfect savior went through for a sinner like me. It’s been my joy to share that with my son and also many others as I share my labor and delivery story. It’s easy to be wrapped up in my pain, discomfort and ordeal but what a great reminder to bring it away from self and to the one who died for a sinner such as I.

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2 Britney H. September 13, 2011 at 11:07 pm

I had my first daughter in March. I decided on a natural childbirth, and read lots of information on natural childbirth in the process of preparing for. I was shocked by how much of the literature revolved around downplaying the pain of childbirth rather than teaching me how to deal with it. It portrayed childbirth as this whimsical, out-of-this-earth experience whose beauty transcends its pain. If I were left with that information without the truth of the Gospel, I would have been highly unprepared and defeated when it came to my daughter’s birth. Childbirth IS painful. It is beautiful, absolutely, and though natural birth is freeing in some senses, there is nothing more in-this-earth childbirth in my view! I found hope and encouragement knowing that the answer wasn’t to convince myself that childbirth really wasn’t painful–the truth of Scripture freed me to admit that it certainly would be painful. It prepared me to deal with that pain not by denial but by fighting through it by calling upon His strength. And it gave me hope knowing that the pain isn’t the end of the story. In a temporal sense my pain would be alleviated when my daughter entered this world, and in an eternal sense, all pain will be eradicated when Christ returns.

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3 Danielle September 13, 2011 at 11:47 pm

I also think of Hebrews that talks about Jesus’ joy set before Him (relationship with us) enabled Him to endure the cross…when I had my daughter, I continued to remember that the pain would be more than worth it when at the end, I got to meet the little one who had been growing inside me for the past 9 months. And it really was; I still remember the first moment of having her on my chest, looking into her eyes, and realizing this precious baby was one of God’s most amazing gifts to me. And all the work and pain felt well worth it.

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4 Helena Morgan September 15, 2011 at 12:54 am

That’s right Priya. What an assurance we have in Christ!

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Romans 16:20
All Glory to our God.

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5 rmy January 31, 2013 at 5:29 am

Thank you so much for sharing your experience and God’s Word! Was wondering about the interpretation of the curse- there is a really wonderful book out there by Helen Wessel (a Christian) called “The Joy of Natural Childbirth,” which extensively addresses the Hebrew roots of the verse in Genesis and offers a different perspective on Eve’s “curse,” so to speak :)

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6 rmy January 31, 2013 at 5:32 am

Ah! Forgot to add an important link to Helen Wessel’s ministry/birth and family education site: http://www.appletreefamily.org/Resources.php

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7 Gloria January 31, 2013 at 7:18 pm

rmy, thank you for sharing this link. As a Christian mom (who also happens to be a birth doula) I’ve come across lots of different perspectives on childbirth. I’m bookmarking this website for further perusal. Cheers! Gloria

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