Sometimes, in the midst of all these worries, it can be so easy to fall into a negative mindset - why couldn't this pregnancy be straightforward, like the last one? But I have found encouragement, strength and perspective these past few days in Ephesians 1, which reminds me to count my blessings. My "worries" and "troubles" pale into insignificance in the light of the countless blessings Jesus has showered on me...
I am chosen - before creation... before I was thought of, conceived, or born, God chose me to be his child. How incredible is that?! I can therefore claim no part in it - none of the glory of that can go to me. It was all decided before I had the opportunity to try and "earn" my way or "persuade" Him. I was chosen in Christ, meaning he is the one who has secured my place in the favour of God!
... to be holy and blameless in His sight - I am chosen for a purpose - to be holy and blameless in His sight?? But he sees everything! If there is one in the world who knows without shadow of a doubt that I am not blameless, then it is Him! But that's the beauty of it! I am in Christ and therefore Jesus' holiness and Jesus' blamelessness are what the Father sees! Praise God!
In love, he predestined me to be adopted - God has brought me freely into his family - he loves me as his own child. He cares for me, provides for me, protects me, disciplines me and showers me with his love through Jesus. Hallelujah! What a Saviour!
He gives me everything for free
He redeems me, paying a costly price to buy me back from a life of slavery to sin
He forgives me
He lavishes his grace upon me
He reveals Jesus to me
He chooses me to live for his glory (the purpose for which I was created)
He marks me with his Holy Spirit
Therefore, in the face of my concerns and worries, I can know, without doubt, that I have a heavenly Father who loves me unconditionally, who showers and lavishes grace upon grace upon me, has utterly forgiven me through Christ and Father's me compassionately and lovingly through any trial...
What security, peace and rest there is in being able to trust my cares and concerns to a God like that.
As the puritans put it...
I am loved with everlasting love,
clothed in eternal righteousness,
my peace flowing like a river,
my comforts many and large,
my joys and triumph unutterable,
my soul lively with a knowledge of salvation (...)
These things I wouldn't know if it wasn't for your Spirit in my heart,
nor could I love you at all without the fact that you
elect me, call me, adopt me, save me.
I thank you for your covenant of grace.