Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

5.07.2010

God Said, "Wait."

Chilling fear. She felt it for a moment as she stumbled through the long, empty hallways for the second time, knowing she had to be prepared to die. Her heart cried out to God: she wouldn’t for a moment change her decision, but oh if only something miraculous would happen before she reached the end of that hallway. She remembered the last time she had stood at the end of that hallway, hearing a snake-like voice offering her his proposition. She had stood there, her heart melting, thinking that all she ever wanted was to have a family. All she ever wanted was to get married and raise children to lead and challenge the nation in the ways of God. All she ever wanted was to have a household—a very idyllic dream under the present circumstances. But the years passed, and every year God told her, “Wait.” She didn’t know why she was waiting—why God told her her desire was good but it wasn’t time yet.

And then, in the past couple of years, God led her to be a midwife—a ministry that fulfilled a crucial need for the women around her. Along with her dear friend, she was now a leader in the profession—teaching other girls what they needed to know about midwifery and blessing the families and children around her with her skills. And so her life had gone—happy, pleasant, busy—and every year, God still said, “Shiprah, wait.”

It was not even a month before when all that had changed, but it seemed like years had passed since that moment Shiprah had first walked down this hallway. She and her fellow midwife friend had stood before the throne as the king commanded them to kill any baby boys that were born as they went about their midwifery duties. Shiprah had felt her blood run cold at that moment, and tears had slipped from her eyes at the thought of taking a precious little life. The king had fixed them with his long, pitiless gaze, and then he had dismissed them to go about their murderous obedience. But "the midwives feared God," and even as Shiprah stepped outside into the desert sun, she knew that she could never obey the Pharaoh; she could never rationalize the morality of his command. Yes, she was filled with a tormenting fear, and a thousand questions flooded her brain. Her heart cried out, wondering if God really was in control, if He really understood her desires, and if He even cared about providing what was best for her.

But as she had agonized over the situation that night, she knew the answers to these questions just as surely as she knew God was still telling her, “Wait on me, Shiprah.” Yes, she was afraid of the Pharaoh, but she had fear for her Lord of everything more than she had fear for the Pharaoh of Egypt. She was Pharaoh’s physical slave, but if she allowed fear of him and anxiety about his commands to control her, then she was allowing herself to be in bondage to him spiritually as well. A smile had crossed Shiprah’s face at that moment and relief had flooded her soul: she was free from her bondage to the Pharaoh, free from her anxiety about the future and the fulfillment of her desires, and free to be in awe of the power of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who had not abandoned her. She feared God, and suddenly she was unafraid.

And then God had done a miraculous thing. The next morning, the Hebrew women who went into labor suddenly started having their babies before the midwives could even get there! Shiprah could not understand it--she was utterly confused after the third or fourth time of arriving to a birth only to discover the baby had already been born with no complications. But then, one of the young mothers smiled at her and at her new baby boy: “It’s a miracle!” she had said, and suddenly the power and truth of that statement had dawned on Shiprah.

And now she stood once again before the Pharaoh, with Puah at her side, knowing full well that these were her last moments.

The monarch stood and roared at them: "Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?”

Shiprah and Puah didn’t hesitate—they had decided beforehand that no lie would pass their lips. So they told the truth. "Because,” they began, with courage in their voices. “The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them."

And somehow, inexplicably, and before they knew what was happening, the Pharaoh had waved his hand at them as he might flick a fly away, and they were outside, blinking in the sunlight. Shiprah felt joy bubbling from her heart, and she and Puah embraced each other, tears streaming down their faces, and laughter filling the air.

But the best part was yet to come, for God finally told her, “Now is the time.”
"Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them. (Exodus 1:20-21)" And as Shiprah’s own babies grew up with the babies whose lives she had saved, she suddenly knew why God had said “Wait” for all those years.

"Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4)

Picture Credit

9 comments:

  1. Wow, I have never thought about that!
    That is very interesting.
    thanks
    Abigail

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  2. Lauren,
    You did a great job on this article. Thanks so much for sharing your talent in writing with us. Miss you girls!
    Elizabeth

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  3. I had never thought of writing from Shiprah's perspective! I really like this. :) Good work!

    ~Melody

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  4. Abby--I've loved that story for a long time, ever since I realized that God put that story in there just for us girls, because He knew it would encourage us! (-;
    Elizabeth--You're so sweet, Elizabeth! I had way too much fun writing it, so I'm glad you enjoyed it!
    Melody--It's so great to hear from you! Thanks for commenting! When I read those verses on Shiprah and Puah, I am always struck by the correllations to modern times (even, perhaps, the correllation to abortion), so I just had to share it with you all!

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  5. That's beautiful, Lauren. You have been blessed with such a gift of writing! Keep it up! I recently finished a fictional about abortion. I hope it put it up on my blog soon. I would love to have your opinion on it. :)

    Blessings,
    ~Miss Raquel

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  6. I loved this re-telling, Lauren. It brought a smile to my face and encouragement to my heart. :)

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  7. Thanks for the encouragement, Raquel! I absolutely love writing; thus, the blog. I can't wait to read your story!
    You're so sweet, Sarah--thank you! It's a blessing to me that it encouraged you!

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  8. I love your writing. this is awesome. Blessings!

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  9. Lauren,
    First I thought it was taken from some fiction.Then there you are.Thanks to the Lord Father for giving you such a gift of writing.
    May God bless you

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