Last night was the first night of antenatal classes. Seven couples gathered in a dimly lit room in the hospital with wind chime music tinkling in the background. Each couple expressing their nervousness and excitement about the immanent arrivals. As the evening progressed past the deep breathing exercises (which nearly caused me to sleep except for the interruption from the ice machine!) things got more interesting. The Sister started addressing the Dads, giving them advice and instructions about what to expect. Then she went on to give a demo of what happens in labour using a doll and a plastic pelvis. Already I think the information was getting too much for some folk – but when the doll refused to slip easily through the pelvis there was a look of fear on some faces. After a tour of the ward the Sister looked at her group and was faced with silence. When asking if people felt better about the prospective birth a few Dads confessed that they were now more nervous and sacred than they had been before the class started!
Often we think that knowing what lies ahead of us will take the fear away. If only we knew how this situation would turn out, how this relationship would end up etc. But in truth knowing is not always helpful, in fact it can make is more fearful. Looking back on difficult times in my life I think knowing what to expect in advance would not have prepared me any better for them and in fact might have led me to panic and to struggle more than necessary.
I’m not suggesting ignorance is bliss but I do believe that there is a reason why God wants us to trust Him with the future and leave it in His capable hands. We have to learn to trust Him that even though tough times may lie ahead he is in control:
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
While the getting there may be hard and painful we can trust our heavenly father that there will be a happy ending, even if the ending is not the one we had imagined.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Lord, I don’t want to bury my head in the sand – I know tough times lie in the future – but help me to keep my focus on you, the One in charge of the happy endings.