Let the Cramping Begin

“We’re back!” they said with evil glee.

“Oh no!” she said. “Not now! The kids are here and there’s no one to cover for me! Can’t you just skip me this month?”

“Um, nope. We’re here.”

“Then come back later, after the kids have gone home.”

“Aw… one would think you didn’t like us,” they said, pretending to be hurt.

“I don’t. You’re timing is terrible.”

“Nah, we think now is a good time.”

All that Friday morning, as she took care of the kids she babysat in her home, she could feel her abdomen tightening in anticipation of the intense pain that usually accompanied these visitors each month. And she could hear them taunting her.

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“It’s going to be bad this time.”

“You’re going to scare the kids when you get sick right in front of them.”

“Feel that? It’s only going to get worse!”

“You may as well as give up. We’re going to be here a long time.”

At noon, she took some pain reliever and prayed, “Jesus, please bless these pills and make them work for me.”

“No! Not the pills!” they cried in mock horror. Then they scornfully laughed at her. “Those pills can’t even begin to touch what we have in store for you today.”

After settling the kids down for their naps, she sat down and held her abdomen. I don’t know what to do, she thought. What will happen if I can’t take care of the kids when they wake? And what about the after-school kids coming later this afternoon?

A small thought made its way into her brain. “You don’t know what to do, but you know Someone who does.”

Of course! Why didn’t she think of that sooner? She placed one hand flat on her abdomen and raised the other hand towards her Healer.

“Wait! What are you doing?” they asked nervously. She had not done that before and it looked a lot like a prayer position to them.

“Just watch,” she responded.

Then she closed her eyes and began speaking. “Jesus, Lord of all creation, You made me and You know how my body works. Please hold back these cramps from me while the kids are here. And while I attend the football game tonight. After that, it doesn’t matter. If the cramps have to happen, I’ll be able to spend the day in bed tomorrow with them.”

Then after a moment, she added, “But I can’t promise not to complain or ask You to take them again if You allow them back.”

“That won’t work. He doesn’t care about a little bit of cramping,” they jeered.

“He cares about everything I care about.”

“Your prayers don’t always work. They’re not going to work this time either.”

“That’s up to God. I trust Him to take care of me.”

“Not if we have anything to say about it,” they said as they became more active – pulling and pushing and twisting inside her.

Finally, she couldn’t stand it any longer and decided to lay down to see if that would help.

“That’s right,” they said. “Get ready for some fireworks! We’re just getting warmed up!”

Their taunts grew louder as her cramps intensified.

“You’re going to get so sick, you won’t be able to take care of the kids.”

“Yeah, they’re going to get up and destroy your house.”

“And maybe ever get hurt.”

“And then their parents are going to be so angry you took a nap and neglected their precious children that they will never bring their kids to you again. You will lose everything!”

And they laughed their evil laughs, enjoying their own imaginations.

“Jesus,” she began.

“Oh no! She’s praying again. Let’s see if He hears her this time.”

“I don’t know why these cramps are still here. I place them in Your hands. Please don’t let me fall asleep as I lay here.”

“No problem,” they laughed at her as if she was speaking to them. “You’re going to be hurting too much to fall asleep.”

“Thank You, Lord,” she continued. “Thank You for these cramps, for they show me that my body is working.”

“That’s a new one,” they said as they looked at each other. “This can’t be good.”

As she prayed, she kept her thoughts on Jesus, on what He’s done for her in the past and what He will do for her in the future. She began to doze.

They looked with bewilderment at each other. Something was happening. Something they hadn’t experienced with her before. They were shrinking right before their own eyes!

A little while later, she roused.  After making sure the kids were still sleeping, she checked on the cramps.  She couldn’t feel them. Were they gone? How could that be? Every month in the past, they would hang around for a day or two. How could they be gone in just thirty minutes?

“We’re not gone!” they yelled. “We’re still here!”

“Oh. Right. But I can barely feel you. You’re too little to do much. Jesus sure took care of you!”

“Just wait until next month. We’ll be back!”

“Bring it on. Jesus will still be here next month!”

And she spent the rest of the day singing praises to her amazing Healer-God!

Not This Time

 

She looked at the time again and frowned.  3:30  Finally on the road, she did the calculation. Two and a half hours would get them to the main beach at 6:00. Then 15 more minutes to get to the wedding sight.  The wedding starts at 6:15.

It will be tight, but we’ll get there before it starts, she thought.

Then the delays started.

Stop for gas. OK, so this delay was necessary, but it added 5 minutes to her time table. They might miss the beginning of the wedding.

Relax. God is in control.

She thought back on all the times she thought she’d be late somewhere. She had learned to trust in His timing – that He could handle circumstances and traveling times and make everything work out just fine.

Not this time, she thought as  they raced towards the beach. We have too far to go and there just isn’t enough minutes.

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Besides, she didn’t know the exact spot the wedding would be held and was hoping to be able to follow someone who did. Now, they would be late and everyone would be at the wedding site. There would be no one to follow and they’d have to trial and error their way to the site. That would add even more minutes to the time table.

A while later, frustrated at having to slow down for traffic, she looked at the time again. 4:25. Her GPS told her it would take an hour and 40 minutes to arrive at the main beach. Adding the 15 minute drive to the wedding site, they would arrive at … 6:20. They would definitely miss the beginning of the wedding.

Relax. God’s timing is perfect.

Not this time, she thought, tears squeezing past her stressed-tight eyelids.

The wrong turn was totally her fault. She had pointed out the turn to her husband only after they passed it. Then, after making a u-turn and getting on the road she had indicated, it turned out to be the wrong one. Having to turn around again, she fretted over this avoidable delay. If only she had paid closer attention to the street signs instead of relying on her memory.

It’s OK. Trust God’s timing.

Not this time, she thought as she mentally kicked herself. It was now 5:25 with about an hour still to go.

A phone call from her sister, checking on their progress and informing her that the wedding was running late, helped calm her a little. But just a little. They were still many miles from the beach. They kept driving.

Trust God to get you there at the right time.

Not this time, she thought. Even if they reached the main beach on time, everyone else will already be at the site and there still won’t be anyone to follow.

Staring out the window, she watched as they drove through unfamiliar streets. She and her husband had thought they should go a different way, but the GPS said to go this way. They decided to trust the GPS.

Relax. Trust in God’s timing.

Not this time, she sighed with frustration. Even though the GPS had taken them a side way to avoid heavy city traffic and probably saved them 10 minutes, it was 5:45 and they were still 20 minutes away from the main beach.

You are in God’s hands. Trust in His timing.

Not this time, she thought. They’d probably get lost trying to find the actual site and end up missing the vows.

Another phone call a little while later, this time from her sister-in-law. They were just now leaving for the main beach and were willing to wait for her there so she could follow them to the wedding site.

See? It’s OK. Trust in God’s timing.

Maybe, but we’re not there yet, she thought begrudgingly. It’s 5:10 and we still have to get to the wedding site.

After following her sister-in-laws car for several miles, they came to the parking lot closest to the wedding site. She was amazed to see everyone still milling around in the parking lot. The wedding hadn’t even started!

I told you – God’s timing is perfect.

As she got out to join the rest of the wedding guests, she said, “I’m sorry, Lord. You were right. I CAN trust Your timing.

Even this time.”