But the Midwives Feared God


Exodus 1:17a is the verse I have meditated on today. I picked it up from a study I was doing in In Touch Magazine, and I froze there. It grabbed me, as the reason I sat down to read was because today I am fearful. I am fearful because I have to do things I don’t like, nor want, to do. I didn’t want any of this. This wasn’t my plan or my dream, and it definitely wasn’t my prayer.

About a year and a half ago, we watched a video in the Biblical  Marriage class at our church. The pastor’s basic closing argument was that if your spouse wasn’t changing at all, hand it over to God. I did and a year later I was forced to file for divorce after it became apparent that my husband really didn’t even care if I died. It was a rude awakening, but looking back I can see how God brought it to this spot, where my husband would finally have to face everything he ever did. I pray that somehow it will change him, but I do not hope in that.

I have to write out things for the divorce, things I’d rather just say, “Hey, it happened, life sucks, but let’s move on and be productive.” It doesn’t work that way, sadly. One thing I have to point out for the court is that in several years in that Sunday School class and at least a year in marriage therapy, my husband never once did anything suggested and, in fact, avoided the topics discussed. He was never interested in change, I have no hope that a joint-parenting class will change him. I have no hope.

But the midwives feared God.

It was just one of several verses I had to read from Exodus. Obviously, I’ve read them before, and at times they’ve had an impact on me, but not quite like today. Today it grabbed me and stopped me in my tracks.

What is my biggest fear? Honestly, it’s not that the court might grant Stan joint physical custody. My biggest fear is that Stan will turn the children against the true God and toward the god of self, that my kids’ hearts will be turned from a desire to serve God with their lives, into the typical go-to-church-on-Sunday, do-what-you-want-the-rest-of-the-week Christian that most people know. That he will turn them into himself, someone who has no compassion on the suffering and no desire to give everything for Christ. Someone whose biggest concern is what people think of him, not obedience to God or service to others. Someone who has no desire to see the lost come to Christ, because that would push him outside his comfort zone.

But the midwives feared God.

It never says in the Scripture that they struggled with the knowledge that they might be punished by Pharoah for saving the lives of those babies. I’ve heard a lot of preachers try to intimate that, but after what I’ve seen this past month, I no longer think they did.

…the midwives feared God.

Their faith was that strong. And I’ve seen that kind of faith. I’ve experienced that level of foolishness, as even some Christians might be prone to call it. It’s a faith that defies human reason, that defies any sort of logic. It is a hard faith, the kind that is usually learned from great suffering, at least if Christianity in the West is anything to judge by.

I tell my kids often now that we are very fortunate to have learned to trust God the way we have this past month. Most people don’t get to learn this level of trust. But it doesn’t mean I don’t struggle. When faced with the big stuff, court, the money for the lawyer, etc., it really is like being out there in the crashing waves of a huge storm.

Last night the boys and I talked about the sermon which was on 2 Timothy. In chapter 2 vs. 4, Paul tells Timothy basically not to get caught up in civilian affairs, because we are in a war and are soldiers. I explained it to them using Peter walking on the water, and how the waves pulled his attention away from Christ, but there was another explanation that I couldn’t give, one personal. I couldn’t give it because I’d have had to tell them a lot of bad things about their father and they will have to, sadly, learn all that stuff on their own from here on out. I’ve said my peace, I’ve explained why we can’t be together, apologized for saying too much at times, and am done. But the personal part, that’s a tough one.

When I married, I thought I was marrying a Christian man who felt about things the way I did. I thought that because he agreed with me on what I knew were important things. I didn’t know he was a liar and that this was all just some ruse to get me to stay with him so he could have someone to abuse. At the time I was involved on a support level with world missions. I thought that would continue after we married. It didn’t. There were many other things I was involved with that weren’t allowed to continue after we were married. It didn’t take long for me to realize there were problems (I mean, he did reject me on the first day of our marriage…and almost every day after…I’m slow but I did know there was a problem). Rather quickly, this turned my attention away from what was important so that every time I read where Paul said it was better to stay single, I agreed whole-heartedly. I could no longer serve God nor, sadly, did I even have a desire to do so. Everything had to be about my husband and trying to get our marriage to work.

I run that same risk, now. I can see it today. I run the risk that my fear of losing my children to my husband’s 1/2 Christianity (Yes, I’m aware there is no such thing.) will turn me away from God again. I know that sounds ridiculous, but fear of the world does strange things to you.

But the midwives feared God.

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