Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. (Mark 13:33)
The summer our third child was born, we were in a severe drought. Birthing options in isolated rural areas are often limited, but the extremely dry conditions made our situation especially challenging. Our local hospital did not provide obstetric care. A home birth was not safe, in our case. Our two best options were a hospital fifty minutes away to the west, or one ninety minutes away to the east. We chose the hospital to the east—which did not make sense logically, but was the direction we felt God leading us.
Days before our baby’s due date, land fires broke out in every direction. One grew quickly out of control and forced the hospital in the west to evacuate. More fires sprung up in the north and south. I wondered: What if I went into labor at the wrong time? What if our chosen hospital was evacuated? What if fires blocked our route? I prepared in the only ways possible: through prayer, faith, a good diet, and proper exercise. God protected us, and our baby was born healthy. One week later our chosen hospital, too, was evacuated.
Jesus compared his predicted events to childbirth for good reason. Babies come when they are ready. So will Christ. But when circumstances are beyond our control, we can strengthen and prepare ourselves through prayer, faith, diligence, and the Holy Spirit’s leading.
Take a personal spiritual inventory, and note areas needing strengthening.
Laura Hurd is an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church and holds a master’s degree from Wesley Seminary. She co-pastors with her husband, Jason, in rural Nebraska.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.