Ever since we got the news yesterday afternoon, I've been on pins and needles to go see the little one, but his dad Nick was guarding the rest his wife needed.We took turns rocking Desmond over at Nick's parents' home because the two story house we live in would be too strenuous for Heather to walk up and downstairs for a day or two. Makes sense--during a two or three day hospital stay, new mothers don't climb stairs!
"Travail," or labor, is used many times in both the Old and New Testaments to describe tumultuous or tortuous processes in the lives of people and nations. Jeremiah 6:24, prophesying of the people "from the north country", descending upon Jerusalem to destroy it, says (all quotes KJV):
We have heard the report of it;
Our hands grow feeble.
Anguish has taken hold of us,
Pain as of a woman in travail.
Micah prophesied the coming fall of Israel in similar terms, Chapter 4:10:
Be in pain, and travail to bring forth,
O daughter of Zion,
Like a woman with birth pangs.
I Thessalonians 5:2-3 speaks of the end of the age and the Second Coming of Christ:
For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them as travail upon a woman with child.
In the verse I clung to during my lengthy deliveries, John 16:21, Jesus compares the agony and the wonderful result of labor to the sorrow that will one day be replaced with joy in the lives of His followers.
A woman, when she is in travail, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish for joy that a man has been born into the world.
I'll close with His words of astounding comfort to the disciples, verse 22:
Therefore you now have sorrow (at His leaving); but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.