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There are four stages in delivering a baby out of the mother's womb. They are:

First Stage of Labor

  • This is the initial sighting of the baby's head.
  • Begins at the onset of labor and ends when the cervix is 100 percent effaced and completely dilated to 10 centimeters.
  • Average duration ranges from 10 to 14 hours for a first-time mother and is shorter for subsequent births.

Second Stage of Labor

  • This is the Pushing Stage.
  • Begins when the cervix is completely effaced and dilated and ends with the birth of the baby.
  • Average duration ranges from 1 to 2 hours for a first-time mother and is shorter for subsequent births.

Third Stage of Labor

  • This is the actual birth of the baby.
  • Begins with the birth of the baby and ends with the delivery of the placenta.
  • Average duration for all baby deliveries ranges from 5 to 15 minutes.

Fourth Stage of Labor

  • This is the time of recovery for the mother.
  • The mum and the baby have been through a lot, so it's a great time to cuddle and rest!
  • Begins with delivery of the placenta and ends 1 to 2 hours after delivery.

There are similarly four stages in the actualization and birthing forth of a dream and vision from the Lord:

  • Conception
  • Growth
  • Delivery
  • Celebration

Hereby we are talking about the birthing of a baby and not the full maturity of a grown up man. We are talking about Baby Jesus. We are talking about small beginnings - the birthing of a dream and vision and not the full glorious functioning when everything is in perfect operation! After passing through the conception and growth stages, the baby is now ready to be delivered! It is the birthday of the baby! After which is the time needed for rest and then celebration!

In this article, we will focus primarily on the delivery stage. There was a story about the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 17-18. Elijah had prophesied no rain for Israel. And true enough it came to pass that there was no rain for three and a half years! At the end of the drought, Elijah met the prophets of Baal in a confrontation at Mount Carmel. The prophet of God won, and the prophets of Baal were destroyed.

After that, Elijah said to the wicked king, Ahab, "Get up on your feet! Eat and drink! Celebrate! Heavy rain is on the way. I hear it coming." (1 Kings 18:41). Ahab got up and ate and drank. Meanwhile, Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bowed deeply in prayer with his face between his knees. Then he said to his young servant, "Go and look toward the sea." He went, looked, and reported back, "I don't see a thing."

"Keep looking," said Elijah. This went on for seven times. And sure enough, on the seventh time the servant said, "Oh yes, a cloud! But it is very small, no bigger than someone's hand, rising out of the sea."

"Quickly then, on your way. Tell Ahab, "Saddle up and get down from the mountain before the rain stops you."" Things happened fast. The sky grew black with wind-driven clouds. And then a huge cloud of rain burst downwards. Ahab was hightailing it in his chariot towards Jezreel. And God strengthened Elijah mightily. Pulling up his robe and tying it around his waist, Elijah ran ahead of Ahab's chariot until he reached Jezreel.

When we see no rain, we need to seek God. When we see the very small cloud, let's praise the Lord! We need to see through His eyes that heavy rain is coming. This is the beginning of a great storm! When we see the head of the baby like a 50 cent coin coming forth, let's rejoice! A renewed sense of energy will be released as we can feel the closeness of our baby's birth! It is not the time to give up or abort the baby! When Jesus saw the child with the five loaves and two fishes (John 6:9), He saw that they were more than enough to feed the multitudes of people! When we see a small cloud, it is the time to PUSH!

What is P.U.S.H.? It is simply Pray Until Something Happens.

This pushing stage can be exhausting and uncomfortable. There will be increased pressures from all sides. We must be sure that it is the Lord and that He is there with us! A lot of faith stretching is required! Herein we need to cooperate with our Doctor and Lord Jesus! We cannot afford to do our own things! In the wedding at Cana in John 2:5, Jesus' mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it." Similarly, whatever Jesus says to us, let's just do it!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct your paths.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and depart from evil.
It will be health to your flesh,
and strength to your bones.
Proverbs 3:5-8

Pushing is most effective when you feel the urge from the Spirit to push. The Spirit will help in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He Who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27). By His Spirit, His will will be done! Remember do not push unless Doctor Jesus tells you to. Many have pushed in vain, and many babies are endangered.

Breathing is necessary during this pushing stage. The Spirit will breathe upon us and give us strength to push through this stage! It is alright to groan and cry for help during this time! God hears our cries and desperation. He will deliver the baby! We have this promise in Isaiah 66:9:

"Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?"
says the LORD.
"Shall I Who cause delivery shut up the womb?"
says your God.

And I can almost hear Him saying, "P.U.S.H." The Doctor is helping the baby to come forth. But the mother must P.U.S.H.!

Written on:
29 June 2004