A Lesson from Labor

New World UMCPastor's Blog

Friends, I believe it is safe to say that we are in transition. Believe it or not, this is good news. Whenever you go through transition, something is disrupted, challenged or changed. On the surface this may not seem like a good thing. I want to suggest that it is. While I must acknowledge transition can be difficult, transition can also be a blessing. When a woman is in labor, the final stage is called transition. It is an indication that birth is near. A woman progresses from 7 to 10 centimeters in less than an hour. It can be very painful, and it can be emotionally challenging. A woman’s behavior may change, she may become panicked or fearful. This is the point where some women ask for pain medication or state emphatically, “I can’t do this!” Believe it or not, what helps the most is that which sounds impossible. Medical Anthropologist Cynthia Gabriel writes, “This part of labor demands complete surrender.” In other words, the best thing to do in transition is to relax and let go.
As we move to a new worship schedule, we may very well experience the discomfort and pain of transition. But maybe God has something to teach us during this time. Maybe God is challenging us to surrender completely to the plans God has for us. Friends, we have been called to bring people to Christ. This means we must care more about others than ourselves. This means we endure hardship as disciples of Christ. We cannot be afraid of transition. We cannot be afraid of letting go. Letting go is how we make it through transition. Letting go will allow us to see God at work in and through us. Letting go makes room for the Holy Spirit to surprise us. Transition may be painful, but it can lead us to new life and new joy. Let’s learn a lesson from labor.