There were two, young pregnant women who upon reaching their appointed times, went into labor and endured great physical pain. Both had the expectation that they would soon see their child and the pain would subside. One rightly understood the pain required to receive the joy on the other side. She envisioned all the moments of rocking her child, nursing, and being a mother for the first time. Thankfulness and joy comforted her realizing the moment she had anxiously awaited had finally arrived. Although this young mom did not know exactly what this new adventure would entail and much of it scared her, she had faith that this little life would make hers better. All the changes and hardships would grow her own character in positive ways. She even dreamed of the ways this tiny baby could brighten up the whole world around them. This hopeful young mother could see a life well lived together and longed to experience it all.
The other young mother cursed every moment of the experience and missed out on the joy of the miracle happening before her eyes. She was angry that childbirth had to be so hard and demanded immediate relief. When it was said it was too late for relief, she cursed her decision to be put in this situation. She dreaded the disruption the child would bring to her daily life. All she could focus on was the high cost of bringing a life into the world, the crying, the diapers, and the lack of sleep. This young woman was relieved when the pain was gone but struggled to feel hopeful about this new responsibility. She repeatedly replayed the intensity of the pain and could not forget the cost. Bitterness grew and tainted all the beauty the child offered. In her mind, the journey was too fraught with pain to see the good things her future was holding.
Both women went home with the same gift, but only one knew what a good gift it was. Only one saw the purpose in the pain and looked forward with joy to a future she could not see but believed.
The truths of this parable run parallel to all areas of our lives. We don’t like pain and struggle. But God doesn’t allow anything into our lives that won’t lead to a greater future glory. Which one of these girls’ perspective would mimic your own outlook on life? Do you live with bitterness that blinds you to the joy God is waiting to give? Or do you endure with patience with a hope-filled belief in the goodness of God?