The name of my Lord is becoming more and more dear to me as I continually learn to know Him more.
I’ve been reading through the book of Luke, and I stand amazed at the glory, the beauty and the love of this Man who is also my God.
Isn’t it amazing how we can read the scriptures over and over again and yet each time be struck with some new aspect that we never saw before? Or pierced to the heart by a new revelation that He’s giving to us at that time. There is no other book like HIS WORD, because it is HIS Word! It’s like fire, like a hammer. (Jer. 23:29) It’s like a sword. It’s alive! (Hebrews 4:12)
I was meditating on some portions of scripture in Luke which target pregnant and nursing women specifically;
Take a look:
“Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people;” Luke 21:23
“For behold the days are coming when they will say ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Luke 23:29
At first glance we might be a little confused, what is Jesus saying, why is he singling out pregnant and nursing women specifically? We could almost be offended, but I think we have to understand the context of these scriptures.
Jesus is talking about the last days when Israel will be in the great tribulation… for he says there will be great distress upon the land. This is when Jerusalem will be seized by the armies of the antichrist. In verse 24 of Luke 21 it says that “they will fall by the edge of the sword and will be led captive…”
But why does Jesus mention the pregnant and nursing women? He could have said woe to the elderly, or the sick or the infirm. He could have highlighted a number of groups of different people, but he speaks of the women, pregnant or nursing.
And he says woe to them. He even prophesied that in those days people will say blessed are the barren and the breasts that never nursed.
I wonder if while Jesus was saying these things He saw in His mind a vision of a woman clutching her newborn babe tight to her chest, a look of horror and desperation in her eyes and she sees the armies descending upon Jerusalem. Perhaps He feels her dread, perhaps he can hear her heart beating heavily with fear of what will happen to her and her child. I believe he specifically targets this group of women because he knows the heart of a mother and that it is this group that will possibly have the greatest woe during this time.
Could you imagine the feeling that would come over you in that time of great suffering? Even if you could escape, your flight would be extremely difficult if pregnant or carrying a nursing child. Would you be able to sustain a child in your womb during that time if you had no food or if you were taken captive? What if you were sentenced to death and your child taken from you? What if you witnessed other pregnant women being killed by the sword?
I once heard an account of a Jewish man who lived through the holocaust. He was given the gruesome task of collecting the dead bodies from the gas chamber. He spoke of once seeing a mother and her baby in the gas chamber, the mother had perished with the baby still nursing at her breast, yet the baby was still alive. Although he begged the German guards to spare the child’s life they were unwilling.
When I heard this account… it cut to my heart deeply. I’ve heard many stories of the holocaust- but this! This seemed grip me in such a way that not many other horrific stories had, because I am a nursing mother.
I know what it is like to carry a child for 9 months and give birth, and to bear that wonderful responsibility of sustaining that little life. There seems to be no greater security for a baby than to be at his mother’s breast. And too, for the mother it’s a most precious time of nurturing the baby.
So when I read of Jesus’ words speaking of the pregnant and nursing women, I think I can feel His heart for them. He is bringing attention to women whose suffering will be great because the depth of a mother's love for her child whether in or out of the womb is so great. Jesus is saying woe to them, there will be sorrow, there will be suffering, there will be a rending of their hearts during those days.
It also could possibly show the depth of evil that will be in that day, when man will neither regard the pregnant woman or the nursing babe.
A pregnant woman nowadays, though not always, is most often shown a certain level of consideration by most in society.
But during those times of tribulation, there will be no mercy, no concern for the pregnant or nursing. The Enemy hates life. He hates the one bearing and sustaining life. We see evidence of this through abortion.
Those days will be so dark, so difficult.
Will a mother be able to bear it?
I recently read the account of Perpetua a first century Martyr, who was thrown to the wild beasts for her faith in Christ. She was a nursing mother at the time of her martyrdom. She records in her diary just before her death the agony of feeling her breasts engorged from not being able to nurse her child while in prison. At some point her baby is allowed to be with her in prison until he is taken away just before her death.
Can you imagine? Can you imagine being in prison separated from your baby knowing you will soon die and he will be left on this earth.
A million thoughts would flood my mind. How will he survive? Who will take care of my child? How will he be raised?
I believe it was the precious gift of the Lord to allow her to nurse her child in prison before her death. She even gives account of being at peace in her heart when he was taken away and told that he was accepting goat’s milk in place of hers.
She was ready and willing to die for Christ’s sake, even though she was given ample opportunity to deny Him. How tempting that would be for a woman with a newborn to deny her faith in order to be with her child, to be able to care for him and hold him and love him.
But she loved her Lord more, more than her life and her child.
Would I be this strong in my faith? Would I be willing to give up my child and surrender my life for His sake? I pray that I would.
I know that I must Love Jesus more than my children. But can I???? Ohhhhhh, this is a hard thing for us mothers. For He has said “ He who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
This is a hard saying, but of course we must love our Savior, more than anyone in this world. We must love our gift giver more than the gifts he gives.
Perhaps this is why Paul talks about remaining single considered the present age in which he was living. So many were losing their lives and their loved ones for the sake of Christ. Maybe Paul is saying that the sorrow and suffering would be much greater for a young married couple especially if they had children.
When I think about the coming troubling times, my greatest fear is my shrinking back in unbelief because of my children. What if I see them suffer? Will I be able to remain strong in my faith in the midst of their tribulation as well as mine?
This is stuff we as moms don’t want or like to think about… but we must! We must be prepared both spiritually, and mentally for the time to come and it is drawing near. Even if our children are grown by that time we must prepare them too.