Tuesday, December 17, 2013

day no. 12,839 continued... a message for expecting mothers‏

(FYI - this was written months before Laurelai was born.  We are not pregnant again.  At the moment.  As far as I know.)

I was praying for my expecting wife this morning as any day we’re due with our fourth child. Sleepless nights are ahead. I know how hard they will be. It is so difficult to serve and to sacrifice sleep for the sake of someone else who just won’t do what’s best for them, often refusing to receive and rest when it’s clearly what is best for everyone involved. I then began thinking about Jesus and Paul and how they, though single men, knew a great deal about being up all night for the sake of ministering to others.

I thought this could be very helpful to you in reflecting upon them as examples in different ways. Jesus stayed up all night praying for people. He was awake because He needed to feed His sheep.
Luke 6:12

During those days He went out to the mountain to pray and spent all night in prayer to God.

Jesus can relate to being up all hours of the night for the purpose of serving others. In those tireless hours, He was drawing near to God and feeding Himself on heavenly bread in order to be stronger in serving those He came to place Himself under. His sheep required constant care and could not and still cannot do anything without Him. They are entirely dependent upon Him for everything. They never learn how to feed themselves. They never learn to rest when they ought. They never walk without help. They are constantly in need of being carried around. They cry and exaggerate the most pedestrian of circumstances. They are self-centered, ungrateful and selfish. But He is kind to even those (LK 6:35). He stays up and loses sleep and serves and empties Himself so that we can be fed, get rest, walk and survive. Without Him we faint. With Him we flourish.

Then I turned my thoughts to Paul. He was a man, like us. He was not God. Yet he took upon himself sleepless night of prayer and petition. He purposely put himself in positions that resulted in him losing sleep or being up all night for the sake of ministering to others. In his list of hardships, he recounts…

2 Corinthians 11:27
labor and hardship,
many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst,
often without food, cold, and lacking clothing.
Paul went without so that some might have something worth having. In this manner, He was like a nursing mother who was constantly concerned by even the slightest peep or whimper he heard coming from his beloved children of faith. He was attentive to them. He disciplined them and fed them. He trained them and gave himself constantly for them. Paul ends his list of sufferings by stating…
2 Corinthians 11:28
Not to mention other things, there is the daily pressure on me: my care for all the churches.
It was pressure. It was hard. It was probably the most difficult weight he dealt with daily. He can relate to a mother caring for her child: giving everything in order to help an infant grow up.
I know that there are some difficult days ahead. Rather than preparing for them by pretending they will not come, I thought it best to equip you with the grace of those who have so faithfully given of themselves for others by the power of God at work within them.

Jesus has stayed up all night in order to feed His sheep.
Paul did not rest some nights in order to provide rest and assurance to others.
You are not alone in this.
Jesus and Paul can relate to you and they have much to say regarding perseverance in God’s grace throughout it all.
Take courage and be refreshed by this as you look forward.

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