“I Don’t Want To Do This Anymore….”
Many years ago, I directed a street mission for women and kids and had the privilege of helping many young women go through labor and delivery… A young woman from England had fallen on some very hard times and ended up in the mission while I was director. She had been raised in amazing affluence (her parents were oil barons); had servants at her beckon call; was highly educated; and had NEVER had to fend for herself. With just the shirt on her back, she was forced to run for her life; and to top it off, she was nine months pregnant. She did not have a clue what it would take to be a mom. She did not even know the basics of taking care a house, cooking, or anything. She was also very ignorant of what the birthing process was going to be… In her culture, those “things” were just not talked about. Well, the day came for her son to be born; her water broke; and off to the hospital we went. When she was in “transitional” labor and in an incredible amount of pain she turned to me and said, in her most proper English voice: “Joan, I don’t want to do this anymore… let us go home.” I explained to her that she had to finish what she started. With a more defiant tone, she blurted out: “As I said, Joan, I don’t want to do this anymore, let us go home – NOW!” She then proceeded to try an bite my thumb off. (That was the last time I ever allowed my hand to be close to the face of a woman in labor.) Suffice it to say, she did give birth. She eventually learned the needed skills to able to live what we would classify as a “normal”, average life. BUT, it was not easy. There were many times, concerning many things, when she wanted to again say, “I don’t want to do this anymore”.
Ever feel that way? I have – and at times do. This past week has been rough. I had the sad privilege of ministering at a celebration of life for one of my Teen Challenge students who had been in my life for close to five years; and had the pain of telling friends of the ministry, staff, graduates and students that a dear staff member, a precious sister in the Lord, had died. (The staff that passed had been in my life for many years and I will miss her sorely.) This makes three deaths in as many weeks of people who were special to me. To be frank, there were days this past week I just wanted to go home and say, at least for one day: “I don’t want to do this anymore.” But I couldn’t… There were people who were in way more need than me; arrangements that had to be made and so on. It was one of those weeks that, no matter what, I needed to press through. That’s where God’s grace entered in!
None of this caught God off guard. God knew everything that would transpire. And there He was… just waiting for me to lean on Him. There He was, with His arms outstretched, saying, “Joanie, I’m here – let me carry your load; let me comfort you; let me assure you that I have everything in hand.” He sent his special earthly angels who assisted on every turn. His presence was real and sensed at all times. The only time I didn’t sense His presence was when I insisted on carrying things myself – when I looked at the storm driven waves, instead of his nail scarred hands. Life lesson learned: For all of us, there will be times we want to say: “I don’t want to do this anymore. I want to go the easy route. I want to act out what feels good to the flesh. I want, I want, I want…” We will have to say a resounding “NO” to those wants; and say “Yes” to our one true source of help, of hope, of peace, of joy, of life itself. We must always say yes to Jesus – to His way, His will.