I have a good friend who has organized a really neat weekly devotional for women by email. It's called "The Redemptive Pursuit." I occasionally write when she asks me and I'll be contributing for the next few months. Anyway, this was what I shared on Monday and I thought I'd post it here too. If you're interested in signing up to get the weekly email, go to THIS PAGE, where you can enter your email (easy to cancel later if you so desire) and also read current and past devotionals.
Psalm 62:5-8, 11-12
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone,
My hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God,
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
One thing God has spoken,
Two things have I heard:
That you, O God, are mighty,
And that you, O Lord, are loving.”
I am pregnant for the second time and with that has come a lot of fear and uncertainty. My first pregnancy, in 2010, was very difficult. I was put on bedrest in the hospital at just 27 weeks and told I would stay there for the duration of my pregnancy, that turned out to be 8 more weeks. My little boy was born at 33 weeks weighing 3 pounds 13 ounces and he went straight to the NICU after birth, it was days before I could hold him. Still, we were very blessed, our sweet boy healed and grew quickly and we took him home after just two weeks. Those 8 weeks in the hospital when we were constantly monitoring the baby’s heart rate and praying that he wouldn’t be born too soon were probably the hardest of my life. There was no way to live or hope without the assurance that God was sovereign, that we were His children and that His plan was ultimately for our good and the good of our baby son. We pored over Scripture and begged for the prayers of friends and family, there was nothing to lean on but the Lord.
This second pregnancy has been different in a lot of ways. I am at almost 30 weeks and still at home, living life! I’m being closely monitored by doctors who prescribed a series of injections to help prevent what happened before. I have not been put on bed rest, but I do have to be careful about my activity level. Overdoing things can cause contractions, and I desperately want to avoid that. My lurking fear is being back in the hospital with a tiny baby in the NICU and missing sweet things like snuggling my two year old, taking him to the pool and cooking dinner for my family. In my fear, I have found myself leaning on the things I can do: drink lots of water, no caffeine, don’t overdo it, get shots on time. Even though we are in exactly the same situation as my first pregnancy, helpless and with nothing to lean on but the grace of God, I grasp at the illusion of control. I’m like the man who looks in the mirror, turns away and instantly forgets what he looks like (James 1:23-24). God took care of us so well through that first difficult pregnancy. When we were expecting the worst, He showed His grace to us in a way that was beyond what we could ask or imagine: an incredible gift and constant reminder—a healthy, perfectly normal, wild, two year old boy.
Though I am just as helpless now to keep my unborn baby safe and healthy as I was two years ago, it took physical helplessness to remind me just how dependent I was upon the sustaining hand of the Lord. There is no health unless He gives it, there is no life unless He gives it, there is no honor or work or contentment, peace or happiness, security or salvation unless He gives it. How quick I am to forget this! Even in times when what He gives is not good in my opinion, there is comfort in the knowledge of His complete sovereignty and goodness—our God is both mighty and loving. “How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure, That He could give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure.” He turned His face away from His own Son so that He could keep it turned upon us, He doesn’t abandon us in our weakness or try us beyond what we can face. We are helpless to control our circumstances, but what a comfort that we can lean on the Lord who guides every detail of our lives and who is shaping us to be more and more like His Son—all for our ultimate good and the good of His kingdom!