There was a discussion in Sunday School last week about how Christ, a perfect being, needed to take upon himself a physical body in order to work the ultimate, miraculous sacrifice of the atonement. Not only did he suffer for our every sin, but he physically felt our every pain.
My tired, achy physical body is on my mind all of the time right now, as many of you know (sorry again about all of the whining). I’ve thought about how He designed this amazing human body — every cell, every organ, every physiological process. Wondered at how without much help from me, it knows how to produce a human child. I have also wondered (I’m sure I’m not the only one) why God couldn’t have made this procedure a little easier on the woman. Had He wanted to, He could have sent children to us in a twinkling, with nary an ache or a pain.
And certainly, the very physical nature of motherhood does not end with pregnancy. There is the impending pain of childbirth, the act of breastfeeding a baby, and the subsequent years of little children crawling all over you all of the time. Even older children occupy a mother’s physical space on a regular basis, with sometimes uncomfortable proximity. All of this physicality seems a burden now, but I can only imagine the pain that ensues when one’s children begin to strike out on their own, ending this physical era of mothering.
As I have pondered all of this, I am reminded that though we are ultimately spiritual beings and our spiritual life is what matters, our experience on earth is a physical one. This tiny discomfort I am in the midst of (many women, pregnant and otherwise, suffer far more than I do), is a sacrifice that is required of me in order to receive another child, and is part of my earthly experience. I don’t know why God requires this sacrifice of mothers, but I do know that His wisdom is infinite. And I am willing to pay this price, not only to bring a child to our family, but as His servant. For although He loves me, and as my Father would not wish me pain, I know it is His will for me to make this small sacrifice, and that by doing so, I may draw nearer to Him.
Now will reminding myself of this each day make the next three months of discomfort easier? I’ll let you know.