The experience of literally being stretched to my body’s limits in pregnancy can often take a toll on me emotionally as well as physically. I usually comfort myself by thinking how I can make things right once the baby’s born- eat less, exercise, do what is needed to regain the form and figure I think I am supposed to have. That is all well and good, but in my reading recently I was hit with another, quite different perspective. The Amy Carmichael biography I finished detailed the many ailments and pains she suffered, especially at the end of her life. Many prayers were lifted for her healing, of course, but it apparently was not God’s plan to restore her health to anything more than that of someone bedridden. Amy had to be at peace with the pain until she died.
Then, the other day, I read Psalm 90, and it felt like it was written for me, which of course it was. Here are some of the verses, and some of my thoughts.
Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
I love the imagery of us and all creation being in God’s ‘womb’- dwelling place, born, and gave birth all bring to mind the joyous but intense process of bringing forth life. It quickly got my attention. He had me at “Lord…”
You turn man back into dust
And say, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in Your sight
Are like yesterday when it passes by,
Or as a watch in the night.
You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep;
In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew.
In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew;
Toward evening it fades and withers away.
Here’s where I began to think about how maybe, if my body never completely ‘got over’ all these pregnancies, would that really be such an awful thing? Though resilient, this shell is only so durable. I can meet its needs to the best of my abilities, but it is still dust.
We have finished our years like a sigh.
As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.
I’m only 31 364/365 years old, but I can already see what these verses talk about. Sigh.
So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.
Do return, O LORD; how long will it be?
And be sorry for Your servants.
O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness,
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us,
And the years we have seen evil.
Let Your work appear to Your servants
And Your majesty to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.
The reality of my frailty would be too depressing, if it were not for the hope of the Lord’s return. Until He does, my goals are outlined above. Live these few, short days wisely, and work for the only thing that lasts- God’s glory.