Thistles and Labor

As I write this, I’m sitting in the hospital with my lovely, tough as nails, wife Jacqueline and my beautiful, new (only 6hrs 15mins old) baby girl Elisabeth. god has focused my mind on something from His Word.

Some of you know, I love to garden, I love it! I’m not that great at gardening and my plants are not always that fruitful, but I love to be in my garden weeding and watering and hopefully providing from the earth, vegetables for my family. There’s one weed that I hate; it always sneaks up on me. Whether hidden under other weeds or me being unobservant, I always seem to place my hand on or kneel onto a prickly thistle. On my left knee, as I write this, is the mark of proof from this happening just a few nights ago.

Now, I have no doubt some of you are saying, “Your wife just delivered a child! You’re in the hospital still for crying out loud! Why are you writing this and what does a prickly thistle have to do with labor?!” Your perfectly logical to ask these questions, so I’ll answer them in order.

“Why are you writing this?” When God gives me a word to share, I like to share it. I couldn’t very well write this while my wife was in labor, I was busy  being a man and supporting her in whatever way possible (that’s a good spot for some of you men that read this to take a note). However, all throughout watching my wife in the agony of labor, I couldn’t help but think about my green thumb nemesis the thistle! Next question.

“What does the thistle have to do with labor?!”

Did you know that the thistle and the agony of labor are direct results of mankind’s first sin against God?

In the Garden of Eden, when the serpent tempted the woman with the forbidden fruit, she took and ate it. In turn, she gave it to the man who took and ate it, and thus sin entered the world and came to all mankind for all time. This separated us from the Heavenly Father and left us unable, by our own power, to return to Him.

After dealing with the serpent and giving the hope of a Savior who would come and restore humanity back to the Father, the Lord said to the woman, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.” (Genesis 3:16)

God then said to man, “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you and you will eat the plants of the field.” (Genesis 3:17-18)

As I watched my wife endure the Divine judgement placed on all women for this original sin, for the better part of 24 hours, I would frequently see the mark that thistle made on my knee and realize the Divine judgement on all men for the same sin.

It’s not that my wife did anything wrong or wasn’t strong enough during a hard labor. Nor is it the result of my lack of gardening skills that I have to weed out thistles.

Mankind is broken and sinful, from infant birth all the way to the grave, all people are in need of Christ’s salvation. The Good News is this; Christ’s saving grace is offered freely to all who confess Him as Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead. (Romans 10:9)

The world’s population while I’m writing this is 7.13 billion people, with an estimated 2.9 billion people who don’t know about The Good News. However, I’d be willing to wager that they know about thistles and labor.

-Pastor John

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