I don’t know about other moms, but something happens to my brain when I am pregnant or breastfeeding. It seems the larger my belly grows, the emptier my head becomes. Or that with each day of nursing, those brain cells are flowing out with the milk. I become forgetful and unable to concentrate.
It seems that now, six years after my last pregnancy, some of the cells are returning, but I don’t know that I will ever be full-steam again.
I remember the loss with particular poignancy while I was pregnant with my oldest — twins. During my third trimester and the first few weeks of new motherhood, our pastor was preaching through Romans 7.
Romans 7 is thick, heady stuff, and I didn’t have a whole lot going on up there. It would have been much easier to be pregnant during Romans 12. So, unfortunately, I confess that though I sat in on every sermon, I missed most of Romans 7. I tried to listen, but mostly, I wanted to sleep. I tried to internalize the bits I heard, but all I could think about was the twins’ feeding schedule and whether or not the service would finish on time.
Now that my twins are eleven and some of my brain cells have returned, I felt it was time to find out what I missed. I needed the reminder then, and I still need it daily, to cling to Christ. So I returned to these deep truths.
Consider these points from Romans 7:
- In a sense, we are obligated to obey the whole law, and to obey perfectly.
- In our own strength, we are totally hopeless, unable to do the good we want to do.
- Worse, rather than the law drawing us to God, our sin twists the law into new opportunities for more sin, pushing us further and further away from God.
- Wretched woman that I am! Who will deliver me from this self-destruction?
- By faith in the gospel, we are united to Christ, we have died with Christ, therefore we are dead to the law and, by the grace of God and the power of the Spirit, now treasure Christ.
- By faith in the gospel, we are united to Christ, we have been raised with Christ, therefore we can begin to bear spiritual fruit.
- Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! — we are justified from the guilt of our sin.
- Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! — the power of sin to rule over our lives is broken.
- And yet I live a divided life in the tension between what I want to do and what I so often do or fail to do.
- Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! — who will one day liberate me completely from the presence of all sin!
In other words, our new life is about Jesus.
"You embrace Jesus,” preached our pastor. “You hold fast to Jesus. You trust Jesus. You treasure Jesus. You fellowship with Jesus. You love Jesus. Jesus becomes the passion of your life. That’s what Romans 7:4 implies: Die to law-keeping and give yourselves to your all-satisfying marriage union with Jesus Christ."
Do you hold fast to Christ? Are you thankful — in the midst of pregnancy and nursing, diapers and discipline?
The details of last Sunday’s sermon might be foggy, or lost entirely. How much more so the teachings from a year or more ago. But don’t let that trouble you. If nothing else sticks, remember this: Cling to Christ.
You have been united with him.
Cling to him.