God Promises That We can have a Comfortable Childbirth
Psalm 46 (NRSV) says “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved: God will help it when the morning dawns. The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter: he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”
“God is our refuge and strength.” “Refuge” is defined as shelter or protection from danger and distress. When things are difficult and stressful, we can turn to God as our refuge and He will protect us from it. Many times in the Bible God promises us His peace, His peace that passes all understanding. That means when it doesn’t make sense to have peace, when we would normally be freaking out, He gives us peace. Typically, we think birth must be painful and we need to stress out about it, but God doesn’t break His promises. He promises peace, refuge and strength to us in ALL situations including childbirth! Childbirth is not an exception to this amazing promise.
That means when it doesn’t make sense to have peace, when we would normally be freaking out, He gives us peace.
Let’s think for a minute about the “Curse of Eve” mentioned in Genesis 3:16. The word “Atsab” appears 17 times in the Bible, none of which are translated as “pain” except in the newer translations and only in one verse, Genesis 3:16 referring to the curse of Eve. Most other instances it is translated as “sorrow”. Is it possible that the modern translators were influenced by their perception of childbirth and therefore inserted “pain” in the translation?
Why would God make our bodies with a procreation system so intricate and complex, designed to work so perfectly, and then introduce a flaw to make muscle groups work against each other causing pain?
Why do so many cultures report that intense pain is not a normal part of childbirth?
Is it possible that the modern translators were influenced by their perception of childbirth and therefore inserted “pain” in the translation?
As my children get older in this scary world, I see the curse of Eve, as described in Genesis 3:16, a little differently. There are many days I wake up with anxiety or depression over this ugly, scary world of suffering that my beautiful children now have to endure and grow up in. I think oh how I wish they could have lived in a world of perfection, a world like Adam and Eve had. That is the curse of Eve. Not pain in childbirth but realizing the sorrow and grief that we now must subject the children we love so much to. A sinful world that was caused by Eve and her original sin. It’s not a curse of childbirth but a curse of motherhood full of emotional pain experienced as we raise our children in a fallen world. But Psalm 46 inspires hope in both situations reminding us that those who take refuge in God will not be shaken!
He tells us in verse 2 that “We will not fear” and in verses 4-5 “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God…God is in the midst…”. These are referring to the Holy Spirit. The Bible often refers to the Holy Spirit as water (See John 7:37-39, Isaiah 44:3, John 4:14, 1 Corinthians 12:13). Psalm 46:10 challenges us to “Be still and know that I am God”.
So, how do we achieve these promises of God? We are to:
- Not fear. Let go of stress, trust God, distance ourselves from “the world” and all the images that stir up fear and insecurity within us! Learn to recognize what triggers our fear. Turn off the TV, take a social media break and replace them with more life-giving things.
- Draw close to the Holy Spirit. Read the Bible, sing praises, join a small group, and go to church. We need to ask God to show us the things that cause us to distance ourselves from Him and then ask for His help to remove them.
- Be still in God’s presence. Relax, let go, meditate. Let’s quiet our minds and not be afraid of the silence. The most beautiful contrast when the earth shakes can be found when we choose to quiet our minds in Jesus, surrendering to our Creator, while the world crumbles.
What is incredible to me is how these steps perfectly align with what science has proven is best for our bodies on a chemical and hormonal level during labor. When we relax, surrender, and let go we release oxytocin and endorphins, or happy hormones and natural pain relievers which then help the childbirth go faster and be more comfortable. When we stress and have fear it releases catecholamines or stress hormones that lengthen the labor and cause it to be painful. Science proves exactly what God instructs us to do is beneficial. To learn more about this process check out my one hour class here: