"Childbearing is anything but a popular exercise, and so with a real revival of newborn souls in the churches. Modern society has little place for a childbearing mother. They prefer society "flappers". And so with the churches regarding soul travail. There is little burden for souls. Men run from the groans of a woman in travail of birth. And so the church desires no "groans" today. She is too busy enjoying herself."
- "Azusa Street" by Frank Bartleman
I walked onto the national mall Monday morning, October 9th - immediately engaged by the sight of thousands and THOUSANDS of people - predominately women, mothers, and daughters of every skin color and age, CRYING OUT to the Lord of Hosts. A matriarch on the stage began describing the action of elephant herds as they protect their young from predators. She linked her arms with the other women on stage and began stomping the ground, loudly wailing for the salvation of her children! I was unexpectedly gripped and as I linked my arms with a sister nearby, stomping the ground, I was bent over in the most intense groaning and travail that I can only liken to giving birth! It was THAT intense.
I remember my amazing midwives, encouraging me in those days leading up to Kenley's birth day. For three days prior to Kenley's birth, I experienced intense birth pains. With my firstborn, the experience was quite different. While "walking the mall" my water broke (Ahhhhh! I know right?!?!) and at the end of a 24 hour period, my doctors concluded a C-section was necessary since I was not progressing. So.... in the months of preparation for my second baby, I had really been believing God for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and when I began having those extreme birth pains a couple days prior to her actual birthday, I was astounded by all I was feeling and I was STILL NOT IN LABOR!?!? WHAAAAAT?!?! I remember emotionally venting to my midwife on the phone one night, "how long can this go on?!?!" and again, during the actual labor in the hospital, I was getting discouraged by the time, effort and energy I was putting forth without seeing the actual baby being birthed and I remember my midwife, both times, encouraged me by saying, "these contractions are doing SOMETHING! That baby cannot stay in there forever!"
Beloved, we are in an hour of history where God desires to grip our hearts with birth pains. The Lord desires to birth something in the earth in these last days, and we, like Mary, would be wise to respond, "Let it be to me according to your will" (Luke 1:38). We, as mothers, daughters, women, homemakers, warriors, pilgrims... NOW is the time to get intimate with the LORD, allow Him to implant His dreams & desires into you, allow those things to affect the way you walk, affect how you spend your time, thoughts and money, and be consumed, gripped, and wholly spent with birthing forth this next generation of souls!
Three women in scripture come to mind. I wrote about Esther, also about Deborah and you can read those overflows here and here. The final woman is Jael. Jael may be the most obscure of the three women - and props to you Bible-lovers who already know who she is!!! You can find the story of Jael in Judges, 4-5. Its a quick story and quite graphic. Not the warm, family-friendly kind of tale you might tell your kids before bed... heres the Melody paraphrase:
Deborah summons a young man, Barak, to rise up with Israel's troops and defeat the evil, oppressing armies of Sisera. When Barak stalls by saying, "If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!" Deborah stills his fears and prophesies, "I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman." They go out to battle, finally breakthrough happens and Sisera and his troops are on the run! Eventually, Sisera jumps off his chariot and begins running on foot trying to escape! He comes near the tents of Jael, and she runs out to meet this wicked man, inviting him into her tent for refuge. She hides him under a blanket and when he's fallen asleep, she hammers a tent peg through his temple...
Ok Melody, why bring up Jael? Before I just hit this ball outta the park, I want to briefly reference a scene from a movie, the Lord of the Rings. The evil witch king, is about to slay a young warrior, "I can be killed by no man" taunts the witch-king. The warrior stands up, removes her helmet, her hair flying in the wind, "I am no man!" she declares and she thrusts her sword into the darkness - vanquishing the evil power of darkness! Lou Engle had a dream similar to this scene, and he woke up from it knowing it was prophetic. Some principalities of darkness can only be overcome by women.
Jael, she wasn't out in battle with Deborah. She was at home (with the babies). She may have been cleaning her tents, making dinner, potty-training the little ones, and still SHE WAS A WARRIOR!!! Sensitive, discerning, as wise as a serpent and as pure as a dove (Matthew 10:16)! You who are mothers, you who are homemakers, you who perhaps feel sub-par to the on-the-field missionaries or law-makers in Washington DC... now is the time where you get your hands dirty in Intercession, get gripped in your living rooms by the groanings of the Spirit - teaching your children to pray - birth forth what the Lord is trying to bring to the earth!
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
Daughter arise. Your children are waiting. The lives of countless others, generations to come are eagerly awaiting the freedom your prayers will bring. The great cloud of witnesses cheer you on as you stand in the gap for the unborn, the fatherless, the lost, the slaves, the nations... whatever burns on your heart!!!
- xoxo -
ps. its my birthday