Written on November 4, 2015. By Shari Norvell
There is something undeniably undoing in being present at a birth. And something so terrifyingly marvelous about standing at the threshold of breath, breathless and breathed that completely transforms you.
In the wait for tender breaths, lusty cries and first glances, I often think of the midwives of old. Their story is one of such strength. They did not just deliver babies, they ushered in the deliverance of an entire generation. A generation that had the courage to say, “Let’s go.”
A unified cry from many present simply because of a whispered “let go” from the mouth of a midwife to the ear of a mother. For that is the greatest mission of a midwife. To invite the mother to let go and allow herself to be invaded by a force meant to flood and flow. To remind her of the trust she carries that births a supreme choice. The choice to yield to the power or resist it relentlessly.
I consider myself much more a maiden than a midwife, yet I realize my training has been much the same as the marvels of yesterday. Be ready. Be ready to submit and depend on the One who planted this babe in this now. Be ready to be fascinated as a witness to a life unfolding. Be ready to lead a woman from the wave washing upon the shore, to and through the tsunami that bursts life to land.
This morning, I was praying for one who is waiting to hold what she carries and had a vision. I saw the midwife generation at the edge of the Red Sea. And I saw midwives there, faithful and fierce in preparing this people to birth what they carried. Freedom. Promise. Purpose. I could hear them say, “As the water that seems to block your way begins to move, welcome the ebb and flow as it comes upon your shore and invites you in. Walk into the welcome of the waves. Don’t wait to see how HE will do it, enter into the doing. And as the entire sea becomes a wave called tidal, yield, let it take you with it. And when this watery womb splits open, reside in the cleft it creates. Cleft of the rock. Cliff of His heart. Let the “much” of God be more than enough to move you through and to.“
What conversations occurred on the other side of the splendid sea I didn’t hear. But in my, "Here I Am” of the sunrise my heart surged with this. Don’t ever let Him become too much for you to be moved.
It happened to the Israelites and it happens to us. Defined in Hebrew, ‘much’ means “very, abundance.” It also means “force” which is used throughout scripture to describe the might or power of God. Much reveals His desire to birth His exceeding goodness. Sounds amazing right? Well, here’s the rub. Much is all about what He wants to give upon the return. Our return. Much is for those who have been in captivity or exile through their own choices, through their turning away and running fast.
Much is the force of goodness He releases so we don’t turn to anything but Him again. It is the “surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” Translated it means that goodness (and kindness) pursue us. From the root word it actually means “hounded”. Hounded by goodness. And here is a phenomenal truth. When David said that, he had just returned. He had missed and messed and Pappa was there to chase him down with goodness for simply returning.
He does the same for us. FOR us when we have exiled ourselves because of a mistake we made, a decision that didn’t bear fruit or a wrong turn that led nowhere. FOR when we hold ourselves captive to bad aim. You know, the times when we are standing there with our bow and arrow poised for His heart. We thought our stance was firm, yet something bumps against us we did not intend. We let fly the arrow, only to watch it wobble straight to a target millenniums from where we were shooting. The simplicity of sin, missing the center of His heart.
Timidly we come back and wildly He receives. “Well here you are! Let’s play chase! I’m going to hound you with goodness so you know you didn’t lose a thing while you were gone. And you. You are going to receive it so you can hound someone else with it.” He really is utterly untamed.
Truth alert. Receiving goodness after you have delivered a disaster is just darn hard. He comes with the force of abundance and we accuse Him of forcing us to do something we don’t want to. He pursues and we tell Him to stop pushing us around. This makes me think of the scene in Fellowship of the Ring when Bilbo is resisting Gandalf. Gandalf goes giant (grows BIG) and tells Bilbo that he’s not trying to hurt him. He’s trying to help him. You know, sometimes we just need to let Pappa go giant on us. Let Him grow so big in His goodness and tell us what He desires to do. Let Him shine so brightly that He sees right through us to the thing we are holding against ourself, that won’t allow the goodness to come and stay.
When the wind of goodness comes, we are invited to surrender to the unknown. To let the things we are holding fast to, be swept away like a piece of debris upon a current. To begin to stop asking Him to get us out of the things that require the force of His goodness to accomplish. And instead, ask Him to be the wind at our back, the might that causes us because He created us for it in the first place. To rest instead of resist. And to actually allow the breeze of power to caress our face like the hand of heaven instead of leaving us disheveled.
He is good. He is good. He is good. He is good. He is good. He is good. He is good. He is good. He is good. He is good. He is good. He is good. He is good. He is good.
That was the best way I could think of to hound in a blog. The point is. Let’s let Him be. Always. Everyday. For if we can let Him be good to us, those that know and know better, surely goodness and mercy can follow us, empower us to chase others with the light of His love.
Ask Pappa to reveal to you a way, a place where you resist His goodness because you have felt you don’t deserve it or because you don’t want to be moved from your place of captivity. After all, captivity self imposed, is just false rest. As you journal, pray through all resistance to receiving that is revealed.
Let Pappa grow BIG and tell you what He has been desiring to give you so you are empowered, equipped and enabled to move ahead with the wind at your back. Imagine with Him for a while, what it would look like to walk in the force of His goodness. And let Him reveal someone He wants you to hound with goodness.