by Rebekah Harvey
I just recently experienced the labor and delivery of my first grandchild. It was an amazing and traumatic experience all in one. Throughout this process there was a point in time that we thought my daughter was in labor early on and we discovered it wasn’t actual labor. So after spending some time with her and her husband I returned home and awaited another call.
During one of the later check up visits we discovered that the baby was breech which began another phase of approaching the labor and delivery of the baby. For me being very uniformed on the reality of breech birth, I was confronted with an enormous amount of fear. When I did an internet search to try to inform myself my fear was multiplied. It wasn’t until I was able to find information that came from individuals who were trained and experienced in this field that I was able to get accurate information and realize things could turn out well.
It was at this point the plan had to change, a baby was still going to be born but a new group of people would be involved to help her through to her final stage of pregnancy to delivery, as the prior group would not be able to care for her as she would need and had originally planned.
What does all of this have to do with what life will be like when Jesus returns? 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4 1 “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.” We are living in a time when Jesus could return at any moment. For some of us we can’t wait for this to happen, for others it causes worry and fear for our loved ones that have not yet turned their lives over to the Lord. We don’t want them to experience the horrifying events of the Tribulation that are to follow.
In pregnancy there is a point where there is no going back, the time has come for the baby to be delivered and the only way out is through the labor to the delivery. When a thief comes there is usually no warning, often when a baby is going to be delivered it is without warning as well. The prior verses are not saying that the Lord is a thief, but that He will come suddenly.
As Christians we need to make the decision that we are going to continue serving the Lord especially as times get darker and circumstances are more difficult. We need to make a plan for how we think we will face persecution for Jesus. Have you ever thought of how you would handle being persecuted for Jesus? (It could be closer than we realize.) If you have a plan or have thought deeply about your faith and what your possible reaction to persecution is, it might be helpful. Reading about Christians or listening to testimonies of believers that have been persecuted or martyred for their faith can be encouraging to us.
We don’t know the moment when Jesus is going to return, we know that He will. An important focus for us is to live ready, like He could come at any moment and we are expecting Him like a visitor with an unsure arrival time.
Like the change of people that my daughter worked with throughout her pregnancy when she found out the position of the baby, we may need to have a change of people that we are spending time with as well. Jesus prayed for His disciples in John 17:15 “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” We are going to face things that are not always desirable or pleasant, but we can be kept from the evil one.
May we use everyday to live for Jesus regardless of the circumstances and shine as light in this dark world.