The womb, the world and the work of God

When my son was born, my wife and I had endured seven scans, conversations with consultants about a possible oesophagus malfunction, and several growth abnormalities.

Josiah was fine.

My wife is twelve weeks pregnant today. So far, we’ve sobbed when she showed signs of miscarriage. We’ve cried joyfully when the emergency scan showed a heartbeat.

But whether all is well or there are more tears to follow, God has used the womb to teach us about his world.

The Womb

Pregnancy reminds us that this world is fallen. Broken. Cursed.

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;

with painful labour you will give birth to children.” (Genesis 3:16)

I once thought that God’s punishment was restricted to labour. But while labour is painful, there will be ‘severe pain’ in childbearing. As in, the whole process.  

Doesn’t this include the severe pain of childlessness? Of miscarriage? The physical sickness, the constant worry? The diagnosis at the ‘anomalies scan’? The loss of a child?

Yes, God was addressing the woman. But this pain affects dads too. 

This precariousness of the womb – of God’s workshop of life – is a vivid picture of a world which is broken.

The World

But just as God uses a precarious womb for the physical growth of our child, he uses a precarious world for the spiritual growth of his children.

He’s growing us into people who trust him – who bank on nothing but his sovereign goodness in all situations (Romans 8:28).

He’s using the insecurity of our future in this world to cause us to long for the security of the world to come.

And the more he does, the more security we feel here. A security, not found in our circumstances, but in his sovereign plan to bring us home.