On Wednesday, Martha (who at the time was 32 weeks “with child”) started complaining to me of some “cramp-like” pains that she was experiencing. She had felt cramps along the way during the pregnancy, but these just felt different from all of the others.
After a long discussion, and some second guessing (on her part), we finally loaded up into the Jeep and headed to the hospital in Mayfield, KY. While the nurses initially treated us as though it was “probably nothing but some normal cramping”, after a few moments of closer examination we could tell that they were becoming more and more concerned.
While Martha wasn’t having true contractions, she was experiencing what they termed “uterine activity” and was a couple centimeters dilated. Since the hospital where we had been receiving our care wasn’t equipped to handle an early baby, it was very quickly decided to refer us to Norton Hospital in Louisville, KY, which has an excellent NICU. They rushed Martha by helicopter to the aforementioned hospital. Let me speak from experience here; There are few feelings stranger than seeing your pregnant wife loaded into the back of a helicopter, and then watching it take off and fly away into the distance.
The good news was that everything was stabilized. The severe cramping subsided, and all seemed well. We arrived at Norton on Wednesday, March 23, and the doctor seemed optimistic that we might even go home by the weekend.
After a few doses of various medicines, I.V. drips, etc., Martha was actually starting to feel pretty good. So good, in fact, that we started to wonder why we were even at the hospital. The baby wasn’t born early; was all of the drama that took place in the previous few days really necessary?
I remember sitting at Martha’s bedside, having a conversation which went something to the tune of, “I don’t feel bad; Why are they keeping me? Do I really have to stay?”
But her feelings about the situation didn’t tell the whole story.
After a few days all of the lab results came back. One thing that was concerning was that Martha’s blood was at a higher risk of forming a blood clot. We didn’t know that before. Even more concerning were the results of the fetal fibronectin test. They were positive, which meant that Martha had (and at this writing, still has) an elevated risk of entering pre-term labor sometime in the following couple of weeks. Suddenly our stay of just a few days was turning into a few weeks.
As we were sitting side by side last night, discussing all of these things, it occurred to me how blessed we were to have everything work out they way that it has. Martha could have ignored that dull pain instead of “wimping out” and going to the hospital. We had no clue what the risk really was. Worst case scenario: We could have lost our child.
The spiritual parallel ought to be obvious.
The vast majority of people (cf. Matthew 7:13) walking around today are ignorant of the grave condition that their soul is in. Everything feels fine. If you asked them whether they are “saved,” the response would most always be “of course!” But feelings and intuition are dangerous things when it comes to salvation.
These people have terminally ill (i.e. condemned) souls, all because they don’t think that the nagging actions of their conscience are a “big deal.” They hear the truth, but sin (Hebrews 3:13) and those who teach error about salvation (Colossians 2:8, 20-23, see 1 John 4:1) fooled them into thinking that everything is really okay.
Will you take just a moment today to do an examination of yourself? Really dig deep into your heart, and lay it out alongside God’s Word. How do they compare? What are the results of the test? What is the reality of your salvation?
2 Corinthians 13:5 (NASB95)
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?