I was sitting rocking my 18 month old son who had just got done
throwing a 10 minute tantrum because Daddy went to Youth Group and he was stuck with me for the rest of the night. I was feeling a lot of emotions after a long day and as I rocked my sweet boy I began
reflecting on my day and the past 18 weeks.
We’d had a rough day.
Honestly, it’s been a rough three or four weeks.
Listening and watching a screaming toddler for the last ten minutes hadn’t made me feel much better. So I began thinking about the sermon that morning…”unwrapping our expectations”. This Christmas message had ended up being a message that spoke to my heart and exactly what I was going through. Brady said,
“God didn’t come down to us to change our circumstances. He came down to be with us IN our circumstances.”
You see, the Israelites were expecting Jesus to be a mighty warrior, a fearsome king, a terror that would vanquish all their enemies and take away all their problems. While all of these things were or eventually will be true, he didn’t come in the way they expected him to. He didn’t act in the way they expected him to. Their long awaited wants and desires were not met. What they didn’t expect was the only thing they truly needed. What he gave them was better than their expectations. Much much better. Infinitely more satisfying. He gave them Himself. He gave them a savior who didn’t sit on a huge horse with a sword and shield but knelt on the ground in humility and understood their pain, suffering, and sorrows. He not only understood those things but would eventually take all those things upon His own shoulders as he died a painful death in our place.
While Brady reminded us of these wonderful truths I sat there completely overwhelmed because something in me finally broke. I was sitting there with no escape from my own problems and I realized that he wasn’t just talking about a people that lived thousands of years ago. He was talking about me. Because I’ve been waiting for God to come in and save the day by changing my circumstances.
These past 18 weeks have been difficult. When Jacob and I found out we were pregnant we were over the moon excited. God had given us what we asked for and he’d done it fairly quickly. I know enough people that can’t get pregnant that I felt thankful that I would be given such a wonderful gift. It’s something I wasn’t taking for granted. I felt a little sick and a little sleepy but other than that things were awesome. I had what I wanted. And then things started to get hard. Between the migraines and the puking I wasn’t sure if I could handle running around with a toddler as well as being constantly sick. Then I get diagnosed with gestational diabetes again, even after praying that the Lord would just take it away because I didn’t want to have to deal with it again. Then we find out I’m going to have to get a painful shot every week to help keep this baby in. Then we find out I have to go to get a
special ultrasound every other week to check and make sure everything is ok. That’s a potential of 3 doctor visits a week.
Uhmmm….are you kidding me?
I’m thinking, “seriously, God? Did you really think I needed to handle all this?” and “how come you made me this way? Why can’t I have a normal easy pregnancy like other ladies?” and “I prayed that this would go away and it didn’t. Then I prayed that you’d make it easier and you didn’t do that either.” I was angry, frustrated, disappointed, sick, and HUNGRY!
I realized this morning that the anger and discontentment was not because God was not answering my prayers. It was because he was not meeting my expectations of how I thought my pregnancy should go. I expected God to give me a safe and easy pregnancy… after all, hadn’t we been through enough with Gideon? But just like the Israelites, thousands of years ago, God wasn’t (and isn’t) giving me what I want. He’s giving me what I need.
Instead of saying, “Here Emilie. I’m giving you this nice easy pregnancy just like you asked. Aren’t I a good God?” he’s saying, “Emilie, these are your circumstances. Trust Me. Cast your burdens on Me. Run to Me. I will take care of you. I have numbered your days and know the hairs on your head. I know the days of your unborn child and know the number of hairs on this baby’s head. I’m currently forming this child and I knew this child before you even thought of it. I haven’t given you want you wanted. But I’m giving you something infinitely better and much more satisfying. I’ve given you the opportunity to grow closer to Me and know my character. I’ve given you the gift of Myself. Aren’t I a good God?”
The answer is YES. He is a good God.
Do I totatlly understand and accept this? If I’m honest, not yet. I’m not there yet. Let’s go back to rocking my sweet baby boy as I was reflecting on the sermon. I know all these things. But just how much more am I going to sacrifice for these babies? I’ve given up food, sleep, comfort…I’m experiencing pain as I check my blood sugar 4 times a day and every week I get an injection that makes my arm feel like it’s on fire for hours and then I’m bruised for several days. I sat there asking God, “Just how much more are you going to ask me to sacrifice? I love these babies, but this just feels like more than I can handle right now.”
I felt the Spirit say, “How much did I sacrifice for you? Everything. I gave up food, sleep, comfort. I went through excruciating pain.” Everything. He gave me everything I need. Himself. And isn’t that all I need? And is it really that big of a sacrifice for me? To be able to show my babies just a little bit of the love that was given to me? But this isn’t the end point. It’s a journey. I must choose this sacrifice every single day. Sometimes I must choose to sacrifice by the minute. Why? Because He did. So I will pray as David did,
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.” (Psalm 51: 10-12)