Waiting = Joy?
Thanks to Facebook, I have seen the inside of more women’s wombs than I had expected to in my lifetime (especially considering my choice to follow a more artistic/less ob-gyn sort of vocation). The sonogram shots that more and more pregnant women are posting in lieu of their Facebook profile pictures (or simply as additions to their online photo libraries) are profound statements about the ultimate reality of life. Huh?
This morning, I was reading the Bible. I do this often because I believe what we read shapes us in some way and I like the way the Bible and the God the Bible reveals shapes me. In particular, I was reading in a book called Romans. In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul (one of the famous pillars of the Christ-ian church) paints an incredible picture, one literally bursting its frame with hope. After introducing what he believes is the true nature of life as it was meant to be, he says this:
That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.
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.
We are enlarged in the waiting. What is true of my pregnant friends is true for those of us who choose to hope in the God of the Bible. It remains true even (and often especially) when we can’t yet see it or fully understand it. “But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.”
Joy. That is the point. Joy in the waiting. Joy in the delivery. Joy.
So be nice to pregnant women. Not only are their hormones playing havoc with their bodies, but their bodies are a prophetic symbol of God’s in-breaking love; a symbol of hopeful anticipation and unimaginable joy.
May those blurry black-and-white sonogram pics on Facebook remind us of that today.(photo credit: Chris Newton/Compassionate Eye Photography)