“As a woman with child and about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we in your presence, O LORD. We were with child, we writhed in pain, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth; we have not given birth to people of the world.”
I am a planner. I think through the steps to accomplish an end and then I enter into those steps progressing through each one until I reach the conclusion. Over time and by working on various events with dear friends who know how to wait on the Lord I’ve learned how to be a ‘sanctified’ planner. I still plan, but generally I am able to hold plans loosely and deliberately seek the Lord’s will and direction. I’ve become more flexible thanks to the Lord teaching me through others.
God is using Becky’s death and certain circumstances resulting from her death to show me that this area of my life isn’t quite as ‘sanctified’ as I had hoped. I hold foundational values and have made promises that cause me to want my life and other’s lives to go a certain way. When decisions made by others cause circumstances to veer away from my plans I experience great frustration. I lose control.
This learning process really does remind me of giving birth. In the beginning of the birth process all of the things I learned in Lamaze classes (this likely dates me considerably) really did help. I compliantly did what I had been told and appreciated the outcome. But I was actually experiencing an illusion of control. As the birth process progressed all semblance of control left and the process took over. A birth happened, but I had little control and had to learn to go with the process and to allow the pain.
The passage in Isaiah 26:17-18 speaks loudly to me of the striving of desperately trying to birth something that isn’t mine to birth. In the end all of that striving and pain results in nothing more than gas. I so need to learn how to let God determine the steps within which I need to walk. I need to give up the process to Him and trust Him with the outcome – even when it appears to be heading in a completely different direction than I perceive as right.
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9