“Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid or discouraged before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him; for there is one greater with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” 2Chronicles 32:7-8a
This passage from the Old Testament has become a go-to Scripture for me in these past few weeks for various reasons. It reminds me that God comes in mightily for his children when the powers and principalities that surround them seem overwhelming. It also reminds me that, when we follow Christ, He will fight our battles and give us help. Choosing to follow God is difficult and often leaves you standing with the smaller army of exhausted people swimming against the current. But the victory is yours if you trust and fight.
I think of these verses when I think of the courageous women who come into Lifeline of Berks County. The whole world is screaming “Shout your abortion” and telling you that your future luxury car, beautiful office, and high-profile career depend on your getting an abortion. Isn’t pregnancy the worst thing to happen to a woman when she is not ready?
Most of our lives happen to us when we are not ready. Fully planned lives sound good on paper, but usually result in reaching a destination (or failing to) without having enjoyed any of the journey. Should women graduate, get a job, and get married before having children? Absolutely. Studies show that following this “plan” is a sure-fire way of avoiding the pitfalls of poverty. However, very few of us follow our plans exactly. If we were honest, those detours were some of the most difficult roads we drove on, but with God’s help, we became better versions of ourselves. Some of us even found that the lessons we learned along the way helped us to figure out what the plan actually was. Still others learn that the hard-fought skills and insights acquired from their journey are gifts that they can share with others on the road.
A woman facing a pregnancy for which she is not prepared has a unique opportunity to take the difficult road that leads to LIFE; the road that has treasures of encouragement in the form of smiles, hugs, and “I love you’s”. When she comes to Lifeline, we will tell her about the God who helps and fights the battles if we let Him. We tell her that the things she learns through taking the road to LIFE will make her strong for the other paths she needs to walk. Having a child and learning to be the mother that child deserves is an avenue of transforming grace. No luxury car will ever satisfy like the hand that holds yours in trust and then takes your hand to help you on your next journey. The truth is that facing the horde and fighting with God builds you, strengthens you, empowers you.
Our arm is the Lord. Are you pregnant? Come in and meet Him. Are you looking for the place that God wants you to use your hard-won skills? Come in and join our team. Just come on in.