Today I passed a friend as she was buckling her son into his car seat. She turned around and smiled and I said what almost all her friends have said, "You haven't had that baby yet?"
Bless her heart, she is expecting her second child and that little boy inside her is still resting and taking his own sweet time about making his debut. She is definitely "expecting."
That word, "expecting", it got me to thinking because lately I've been feeling something inside - a renewed sense of expectation. I've had this feeling since the end of last year, but lately it's been increasing. Then looking at my friend, I started thinking about the similarities between what goes on in the spirit realm and the physical one.
Now, I'm not one to write about "expecting" since I've never been pregnant myself; however, I am surrounded by women who are! At my school I'm convinced there must be something in the water because it seems like every hall I go down I see pregnant women!
I noticed that when a woman first discovers she is pregnant, she can be a bit, well - moody. I understand the hormones are going crazy. Sometimes she feels sick, sometimes elated, sometimes overwhelmed. That's a lot like the way a person feels when they first start to realize that God has something in store for them.
Some women tell everyone; some keep it to themselves - they just aren't quite sure what to do with that news. It's the same with those who begin to hear from God...some shout it out and others just tuck the ideas down into their heart and wait.
After a while, it starts to become obvious that God is doing something - you can no longer "hide" what is growing inside. The excitement turns to preparation....and waiting.
The waiting is the hardest part. People ask dumb questions like, "Haven't you had that baby yet?" and like my friend you do everything you can to hurry things up so the day you've waited for so long will finally come. But birth will not be rushed....all you can do is wait. I thinking is "expecting" at its finest!
(This, by the way, is kind of where I find myself - knowing something is near but there is nothing I can do to speed up the process!)
Bless their hearts, women in the final weeks of pregnancy look so uncomfortable. They walk around rubbing their "tummy" in anticipation and yet they can barely move. They do everything they know to do, and probably wonder, "Won't this baby ever come?" Sometimes they look so tired, but always they have that beautiful look of "expectation" about them.
Finally come the birth pains. I won't even attempt to talk about those since I have NO idea what that must be like...I've heard that some women didn't even realize that they were in labor, and I've heard of women who made sure EVERYONE knew they were in labor! Either way, this baby is on his/her way!
I once had a birthing coach share an interesting fact about the birth process and the word "transition." Transition is the point that is the most difficult. It's usually the point when women decide that they don't want to go through with this after all...they'll just stay pregnant forever. I've had times when I was waiting on the birth of a dream from God and things got tough....really tough. I wondered if I REALLY wanted to go through with all this after all....
Then finally comes the joy of the arrival. All the pain is forgotten....and the real work begins.
Yes, I can feel the stirrings of expectation. God is up to something good. I've been through the moodiness, the excitement, the fear, the preparation....now comes the waiting. You can't rush God - after all, He's God!
I know that something is coming - something wonderful that will bring great joy. Every minute of waiting will be worth it. I also know one more thing....once the expecting becomes reality, that's when the real work begins...so for now, I'm expecting!
Romans 8: 22- 25 (MSG)
22-25All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
Romans 12:12 (NLT)
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.