We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.- Romans 8:22-23
Even as I write this, a dear friend is in labor. She is waiting, expectantly and anxiously, for Baby #3 to make his/her appearance. Water broken, hard labor not started yet, she is in a holding pattern and has been since last evening. Nothing to do but wait, watch, and pray.
I am there, too. Certainly with this sweet sister, as all night I kept waking and dreaming of her, praying for her well being and that of my coming "niece" or "nephew."
But also in my own life.
I wait, not too patiently at times, for the things of my life to work themselves out, to be born in me and my family.
I long to be the creature I was created to be--me, but different. Not so sinful, more patient, more loving, more focused on God instead of me.
I want to see the bigger picture, know how to lead my family on the path God has laid out for us. Sometimes I feel like I am right there, hiking along as I should be over the rough terrain; other times I feel lost in the weeds, tripping over little rocks. I hasten to what I think is the right way to go, but forget to look where I am going, forget to take all the steps necessary to get there, forget to follow my Guide.
Other times, circumstances totally beyond my control have me laboring. The world steps in, clouding my vision in the rainstorms of life. Well-meaning people, and not-so-well-meaning, provide distraction and confusion. I stumble, I fall.
But I get back up.
Like my sweet friend who cannot escape her labor pains right this minute, I cannot escape mine. Nor would I want to.
I eagerly await the temporary prizes and successes here on earth...many that are quite meaningful for a season.
But even more, I look toward my forever-prize in eternity.
Labor is hard, but I know that with that first cry, the first look at that sweet little face, it will be all worth it for my dear sister.
With my first cry of hallelujah before my Lord, so will mine.
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.- Philippians 3:14-15