Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God. (2 Cor. 1:4 Amp)
Have you ever noticed the ability of a pregnant mother’s presence to bring forth a plethora of birth stories from those that have been there and done that? Giving birth is one of those life changing experiences which absolutely have the ability to become forever engraved upon your memory and imprinted upon your heart!
It seems that as each woman shares her story there is an inner recognition, understanding and validation that can only come from those whom have been through the same, yet different, experience. As women and mothers we offer a level of empathy and discernment to one another that is not offered by anyone who does not have at least one individual within their lives who calls them “mama.”
Now, have you ever tried to explain to someone who has never given birth what is like to give birth? I have and I have to say, it is almost an impossible feat. I shared, “It hurts. It hurts more than anything I have ever experienced, and it was different from any kind of hurt I had ever experienced.”
The closest I could come to describing it was something along the lines of “it kind of feels like it might feel to be squeezed like a tube of tooth paste with the cap still on….now…doesn’t that sound pleasant?”
Okay, so admittedly, I will probably never be hired to teach a birthing class…but, the point remains, some things just must be experienced to be understood- simply explaining to someone what all is encompassed in giving birth is seemingly impossible.
In order to not leave the young, wide eyed and newly expectant mother completely traumatized, at the end of that description of giving birth I also shared that I never have regretted it, and even did it a second time. That despite the misery of pregnancy and pain of being in labor, the payoff was amazingly tremendous. As well I shared that as soon as it was over I was so focused on the value of the gift that I had been given that I concluded that what I went through to get it was unquestionably worth it.
Ultimately it all boiled down to …yes it was hard, but I got through it and so will you.
I was thinking recently that, in this, the experience of carrying a child and giving birth is similar to walking out the walk of faith as a child of God.
Trying to explain to someone how it is that we walk by faith and not by sight and trust God in the midst of seemingly impossible situations is very difficult when talking with someone who has never done it. These are simply actions which must be experienced to be understood.
Believers that have walked the walk that they talk and became “the tough that got going when the going got tough” are those believers that have also experienced the goodness and faithfulness of God which has sustained them when nothing else could.
In our chaos we have found peace, in our mourning we have been comforted, in our impossibility we have found evidence of the God of the impossible. Christianity is more than the bumper sticker on our car, it is the way that we have lived, thrived and overcome in the midst of our own life storms. If you have been a Christian for more than two days you have had your own storms through which to sail.
Just as more experienced mothers have the opportunity to speak truth and comfort to those beginning the journey that ends at giving birth, we as Christians have a huge responsibility to share of that which has been birthed within us with other believers.
Even now, can you recall a time with a deeper level of trust was birthed within you through the labor of a difficult time when you had no choice but to trust God? Has patience been birthed within you through an extended period of waiting on God to move on your behalf? Has peace been birthed within you in a more real way through receiving the peace which transcends all understanding in a very difficult circumstance?
Who is it in your life today that could be encouraged and benefit from hearing your “birth story?” Who needs to hear “yes, it is hard, but I got through it and you will too.”?
Acts 10:34 shares with us that God does not play favorites- what He is willing to do for one of His children He is willing to do for all. The testimony of who God has been within your life can be a huge encouragement to someone who is struggling.
Abba Father, thank you for your Faithfulness within my life. LORD, help me to be led by your Holy Spirit and sensitive to others and their need to be encouraged by me and the truth of the faithfulness and trustworthiness that you have displayed within my life. I thank you Lord that you never play favorites and in the same ways that you have been faithful to me you are faithful to each and every one of your children who will allow you into their hearts and lives.