You Were A Baby Once Don t Be Scared
Vol: 21 Issue: 21 Wednesday, February 21, 2018
“And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
And some nineteen hundred and seventy-seven years later, we’re still gazing up into heaven and awaiting the fulfillment of that Promise. It’s been awhile since we revisited the Big Picture. As we prepare to celebrate the occasion of our salvation, the signs of our redemption are everywhere.
When asked by His disciples, “What will be the sign of Thy coming and of the end of the world?” Jesus outlined a sequence of events that began to unfold in the early part of the 20th century.
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” (Matthew 24:6-7)
But then He pauses, saying, “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” The phrase, “beginning of sorrows” was carefully chosen by the Holy Spirit – it described the same thing in 1st century Israel as it described in 11th century Libya or in 21st century New York.
The Greek phrase arche odin, translated ‘beginning of sorrows’ could also be translated as ‘commencement of birth pangs’ – a sign easily recognizable to all peoples of all cultures in all times.
Birth pangs, once they’ve started, continue to grow in frequency and intensity. Once they start, there’s no stopping them. And, although they are excruciatingly painful, they hold the promise of great joy to come.
I’ve witnessed the amazing transformation personally. During labor, it’s all, “You did this to me!” and “This is it! I’m never going through this again!”
Witnessing it (and being the craven coward that I am) I not only had no doubt of the sincerity of her promise, I heartily agreed.
If it was me, it would only happen once. And if I witnessed it beforehand . . . well, it’s a good thing for the human that women have the babies — or it would have ended with Cain.
There never would have been an Abel.
Witnessing the outline of Bible prophecy as unfolds is, on many levels a terrifying experience.
Speaking for myself, I can say without equivocation that there are times when “looking after the things that are coming upon the earth as the powers of heaven are shaken” before my very eyes terrifies me.
The outline of Bible prophecy is a litany of travail and sorrow and pain that, in the end, brings forth a new existence so glorious that the pain and sorrow fade into irrelevancy. But that is then. We are in the now.
Knowing that it will be better then helps – but now is when the economy is teetering on the brink, the Middle East is on the brink of exploding into potentially nuclear war, as Western civilization — oblivious — continues to slide into the abyss.
But unfolding Bible prophecy is not doom and gloom, anymore than going into labor is doom and gloom. The fear is more is analogous to the fear of major surgery – you know its necessary and it will improve your situation – but still, you know it’s going to hurt.
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” (1st Corinthians 2:9)
Ok, but even though the benefits are beyond imagination, the parts we can imagine are scary. Earthquakes, famines, wars, pestilences, solar anomalies, fear; of climate change, killer asteroids, weapons of mass destruction, social collapse . . . these are hardly things to look forward to.
The analogy of birth pangs extends from the travail of the mother to the situation of the baby being brought forth. The baby is quite comfortable in his environment – it is all he knows.
It is warm, dark, safe and protected. The baby’s needs are all met in the womb and from his perspective, it is the perfect universe.
Until suddenly, his universe starts to heave and buckle and collapse around him, expelling him into a painfully bright, noisy world where the first sensation to greet him is pain.
He is rudely snatched from his universe by his head, slapped on the behind, cut from his umbilical cord and, shivering with cold, enters his new form of existence. But having experienced this existence, returning to the dark warmth of the womb would seem a living death.
On the other end of this existence, it happens all over again. We are forced, reluctantly and painfully, into this life. And on the other end, we are just as reluctantly and painfully forced out.
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)
But during this present time, like the baby in the womb, this is all we know. As we count down together towards the day of the Promise, things will only get scarier. It’s natural to be scared from time to time — even for Christians.
Don’t let being scared scare you into thinking your faith is weak.
“Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” (Proverbs 3:25-26)
Featured Commentary: There’s No Place Like Home ~Wendy Wippel