Saturday, August 3, 2013

Moving from Awful to Awesome



Pain, tears, sweat pour forth and then the sound most beautiful, the sound that makes all the pain and agony of the hours before worth it, the sound of a cry from this new life who has been ushered into the world. To be part of that process day in and day out must be a beautiful experience. For Shiphrah and Puah, this was life. They lived their lives to help others give life to new hope. The life of the midwife must certainly have been filled with its share of challenges and sadness, but oh the joy it could also bring. So when the summons from Pharoah came down, what an icy chill must have run through their soul. Here was a man who in his earthly power had the capability of not only ending their lives, but now he was asking them to end the lives of many others, all the Hebrew boy babies. He was asking them to do a work diametrically opposed to what their life's work was. They were life givers, not life takers. How could the king ask this of us?

They could have taken this mandate from this earthly king, recognizing the power he had to end everything they knew, and follow his decree, but the truth is that Shiphrah and Puah held to a higher, holy Authority, they feared God. They knew this decree from Pharoah did not fit with the gift of life they had recognized came from God. The miracles they were gifted to experience each day must have drawn them in to experience an awe and wonder for the Creator God who brings life. Even today as I have been told my sister-in-law who is a nurse, the medical community still cannot pinpoint what it is that begins the labor process. The mystery of the miracle remains still and Shiphrah and Puah had a holy reverence, respect, fear of the mystery. They held God in such high esteem that the worldy values of following their earthly authority did not come close to eclipsing their fear of God.

So they didn't do it. They followed God. They honored God. They feared God.

They were able to hold in tension something that I personally find challenging, balancing God's Almighty Power alongside His Loving Immanence -- His "God With Us"ness. And I recognized and was convicted of my lack of focus on this Holy Power that is the God I serve and thought how my propensity for sin and in fact my life overall would change if I thoughtfully spent more time focusing truly on Who God is, on asking God to work in my life to foster more and more a holy fear, an awe, a reverence for Who God truly is. What would happen if I began each day, earnestly seeking to recognize the pieces of God that I am able to grasp? How would each thought and decision of my day be affected? It is one of my favorite things about God that He is completely beyond my comprehension, but nonetheless urges me on to learn more and more about who He is and grow closer in relationship with Him each day.

Shiphrah and Puah were able to recognize the Power in the God they served and God blessed them.

"So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty. And it came about that because the midwives feared God, that he established households for them.". Exodus 1:20-21 (nasb)

May we each grow more in more in our recognition and understanding of God each day.

Blessings for the journey.

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