I had the opportunity to join a summer book club. I decided to go for it, despite traveling lots of July and summer busy-ness. Right now we are reading the book Fearless, by Max Lucado. Fear is something I've struggled with off and on (mostly on) - and it's my biggest "go to" when things feel out of control or new or I'm backed in a corner. In the chapter I'm in now, I loved this one little paragraph so much, that I wanted to share it.
And to preface it, I was thinking especially about this while I was meeting with my Journey ladies last night. Ladies who are going through really tough times of unfaithfulness in their marriages - the kind of times where it's the first thing you wake up thinking about in the morning and the last thing you think about when you go to sleep. The kinds of times where you've cried in every room of your house all in the same day - the way that cancer rocks someone's world, or a tornado, or a deformity. Here's what Max says.
Do any of these moments serve a purpose? They do if we see them from an eternal perspective. What makes no sense in this life will make perfect sense in the next. I have proof: you in the womb.
I know you don't remember this prenatal season, so let remind you what happened during it. Every gestation day equipped you for your earthly life. Your bones solidified, your eyes developed, the umbilical cord transported nutrients into your growing frame....for what reason? So you might remain enwombed? Quite the contrary. Womb time equipped you for earth time, suited you up for your postpartum existence.
Some prenatal features went unused before birth. You grew a nose but didn't breathe. Eyes developed, but could you see? Your tongue, toenails, and crop of hair served no function in your mother's belly. But aren't you glad you have them now?
Certain chapters in this life seem so unnecessary, like nostrils on the preborn. Suffering. Loneliness. Disease. Holocausts. Martyrdom. Monsoons. If we assume this world exists just for pregrave happiness, these atrocities disqualify it from doing so. But what if this world is the womb? Might these challenges, severe as they may be, serve to prepare us, equip us for the world to come? As Paul wrote, "These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing" (2 Cor. 4:17 CEV).
Did you ever watch Seinfeld? If you did (which we still watch reruns), remember how Kramer used to react sometimes? When someone said something that was shocking or when he opened the door to Jerry's apartment, remember how he would like shake his head and body all crazy...like...WHAT??????!!!!! That's how I felt when I read, "but what if this world is the womb?". We've got it all wrong. We've got it all backwards - including myself most of the time, and I allow fear to rob me of the peace I could have in the here and now.
In another book I loved, the author referred to this life as if we were a flower, and this part of our life is the bulb part down in the bottom under the soil. We have NO CONCEPT of the beautiful flower in the next life - just that it's all dark in this one and we cannot find a purpose for many things.
I have thought of this sentence every single day since reading it. Could be life changing, if I'm not too fearful to allow it in.