Recently, my pastor wrote a blog post about waiting and referenced Romans 8:25, specifically The Message translation. So, I looked up the passage.
“All 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.”
I was thinking about this again today and really centered on the analogy of the pregnant mother. While she enjoys the journey of expecting and thinks about what the baby will be like, she can’t spend all of her energy worrying when the baby will come. If she lets those thoughts consume all of her time, she won’t have anything left to prepare for the actual arrival of the baby – not to mention losing that “joyful expectancy”.
I think of how much time I spend asking God when and how when I’m waiting for something. And it seems that the more important a thing is to me, the more I constantly question Him about it. Don’t get me wrong, I am not arguing that we shouldn’t ask God questions or pray for understanding. But we do have a responsibility to prepare for what’s coming and trust God to bring it at the appointed time.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” -Ecclesiastes 3:1
If the expectant mother lets concern over timing consume her, there will be no energy left for the necessary preparations. No time to prepare a nursery, their home, their lives for the wonderful thing that is coming. And without that preparation, I would think that it would be difficult to fully enjoy the blessing when it arrives. I think it is the same with us. Just as the five wise virgins in Matthew 25 were prepared as they awaited the bridegroom, we must be prepared for what God wants to bring us into – and who He is helping us to become.
But how do we do that? Lately what God seems to be telling me is to seek the Kingdom. To focus on Him and what He’s setting before me right now.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
And in the midst of the waiting & seeking, let us not forget,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”