The Second Coming, Childbirth, and the Mistake of Putting Life on Hold


I am very pregnant and, though not overdue, quite ready for our newest family addition to arrive. To be most honest, I’m past ready, and have been struggling with impatience. My first son came so suddenly that I’ve had an expectation that this one might come early too (he’s already later than his brother), and I’ve been maybe a bit too zealous in watching for signs of impending labor and hindering life-as-normal just in case the baby may arrive any moment.

Even with my first baby I did have signs of labor: my water broke, contractions started and got more intense, and there were a couple other things for the TMI category. My labor was just over two hours and very sudden, but it was still labor. I keep hearing crazy stories, though, about babies coming suddenly in the bathtub or the toilet, or obese women who don’t know they’re pregnant until the baby comes suddenly in their pants—it’s distractions like this that have made me consider the possibility that baby two could come without warning as I’m driving or shopping or in any other very embarrassing and inconvenient way. And when I’m so intense in thinking that labor could begin any minute, it hinders my daily life; after all, I wouldn’t want to go somewhere I wouldn’t feel comfortable delivering. 😛

The Christians in Thessalonica made a similar mistake. They had been doing a great job persevering in their faith despite various hardships (Paul gives them many positive affirmations in 1 Thessalonians and 2 Thessalonians), but then Paul gives them a couple telling warnings:

  1. don’t assume Jesus is coming any minute because He will not come until the apostasy and the antichrist come first (2 Thess 2:1-12)
  2. keep working so you can afford to eat; it’s not good to be a burden to other people (2 Thess 3:6-13)

It seems that these Christians in their zeal had misunderstood the spiritual season of their time and put life on hold—quitting their jobs and living off of others—because of their certainty that the Lord would come at any time. Their behavior is almost enduring and goes hand in hand with a long list of praise and encouragement from Paul regarding their faithfulness toward God, and yet they were deceived by their assumptions and made a couple bad choices.

It’s been my mission the past couple days to relax and think less about my upcoming labor. I want to be alert—and I’m so excited for this moment that it is impossible for me not to be—and yet I do not want to be paranoid over every possible symptom or so expectant that I put my normal life on hold. It is an interesting balance to anticipate an event with zeal without going overboard. Paul admonished the Thessalonians to keep living and doing the good things they know to do (2 Thess 2:15, 1 Thess 5:11-28), and I’ve been praying that I’ll be able to relax and enjoy these last pre-baby days as well.


Verses on Spiritual Warfare (Part Two: Strengthening Before Battle)


Coming from an athletic family, I like to call these the “defensive” verses.  They focus on what to do before the spiritual attack comes–how to “put on the armor of God” so you aren’t shaken when the battle shifts to your home front.  It is not, by any means a ‘complete’ list, but rather a sample of the verses I’ve collected through my experiences.

The themes are:

1. Remain in Christ by connecting deeply with Him

  • Read scripture
  • Test all things and remain only in Truth
  • Pray in the Spirit
  • Be on the alert through watching and praying

2. Stop remaining in that which is not Christ

  • Battle now against your flesh, so you can battle later against the enemy of this world
  • If you know you’re in sin (disobedience to God), do everything you can to get out
  • Sacrifice the things that aren’t beneficial even if they aren’t ‘bad’

Verses on How to Fight the Defensive Battle:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8).

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable.  All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12).

“Finally, brethren, whatever is truelet your mind dwell on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

“Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth” (Ephesians 6:14).

“The night is almost gone, and the day is near.  Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of  lightput on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Romans 13:12 & 14).

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His mightPut on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:10-13; continue through verse 17 for specifics).

“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).

Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.  See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:6-8).

“Let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.  No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.  Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry” (1 Corinthians 10:12-14).

Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38).

Run in such a way that you may win…I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:24, 26-27).