As you know, we are waiting for our newest little one to be born. And I am officially 40 weeks today. Today is my due date. This last weekend I had a 3 day pity party and broke down several times. Because not only is my due date upon us and I’m in so much pain, it also occurred to me that this was not my original due date. According to my calculations many months ago my original due date is September 27. And I generally know my numbers, if you know what I mean. But that first ultrasound at about 15 weeks showed her to be about 10 days further along than my calculations (not possible if you know what I mean). And, granted, nearly every measuring since then has confirmed their earlier date and not my later one. But the reality is that I could be looking at a minimum of 10 more days before even getting to my due date. Not to mention going past that. The reality is I don’t know. It could be any minute or I could be facing down 2 more weeks of this level of pain and waiting. Hence the beginning of the weepy weekend.
So I began praying and copying Bible verses for the labor. There were many revelations as I dwelt with Him.
I’ve been reading through the Bible from beginning to (one day, hopefully!) end with the kiddos for what? Nearly 2 years now? Last week we finished the Book of Mark. And though I’ve read the passage from Mark 13 many, many times it struck me to talk to the kids about His coming back and the end times in terms of waiting on our Baby Girl to come. It’s something I knew they could grasp.
28 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, [o]recognize that [p]He is near, right at the [q]door. 30 Truly I say to you, this [r]generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. 32 But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.
33 “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time [s]will come. 34 It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and [t]putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. 35 Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the [u]master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’”
We talked about how His coming, after reading through this chapter, would be much like our new girl’s arrival. We know through experience (like the fig tree for His audience then) what to look for before the coming of a new baby. There are tell tale signs to watch for. We know my belly gets bigger. We know that generally babies stay inside for around 40 weeks. We know what to look for just before a birth. There will be labor pains and sometimes the water breaks. But what we don’t know is exactly when she will arrive. We don’t know the day. So we have to be prepared. We have to have all the preparations ready and waiting. We don’t want to be caught completely unawares. We talked about why it’s important to be watching for the day of His return – to have our own affairs in order, but also to reach out and show His love to as many people as we can before He comes back. We want them to know Hope and Good News. So we have to prepare like His coming is today. Just like each evening we pick up the house before bedtime so that if my new girl comes in the night we’ll be ready and not scrambling to pick up shoes from the floor.
But then there’s that waiting part.
This is the part I’ve found to be hard. It’s fun to prepare. To think of the coming, to daydream, and plan. But when the waiting turns from hours to days to weeks it gets tiresome. The waiting itself becomes difficult. I’m in pain, everything hurts, the practice contractions are constant, uncomfortable, wearisome. I look at all of the empty bedding I’ve sewn and the diapers sitting out, the unused changing table and I see that it’s beginning to collect dust. The bags I’ve packed for the older kiddos have had some vital clothes pulled out, had to be rewashed and then repacked. It gets old. It makes me want to give up and not pick up each night. It makes me want to give in to the bazillionth begging to drink my Gatorade I’ve been saving.
And as I pondered all these things in my heart last night I thought of the verse Isaiah 40:31
The part that says they “will gain new strength” lets me know that there is a weakening before the renewing. And it tells me that I’m not out of the ordinary. It also tells me that I need to learn patience in the waiting. That the waiting is for His timing. And that there is not just endurance in waiting for Him, but better than endurance – there is beauty, soaring, joy, and ease. It’s not the race that’s difficult, it’s the waiting, the enduring. And once we turn that waiting over to Him it becomes easier.
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.