Scripture Resource Passage: Romans 8:22
Describing the pain of a woman near-term in pregnancy, with active-labor occurring, Scripture sets out the message of anticipation and struggle. Disciples have long pondered the signs of the Day when Christ returns—Scripture provides a hint.
Anticipating the hours prior to the Return: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
“My feet are tired. I wish I’d worn different shoes,” Jose’ sighed as he spoke. “Walking on the hard floor is wearing me out.”
Glancing at the digital screen he rubbed his face with weary effort. The monitors were working, doing their job, reporting on Martina’s and the unborn-baby-girl’s vitals. The colors on the screen were vivid.
Jose’ was smiling because after twenty hours in the room he had at least a little understanding of the numbers and colors. “Excellent care from the nurses—the monitors are saying ‘She’s okay—oops, they’re okay!’” he spoke to himself and smiled again. After a long night maybe the time had finally come and Mercy would be safely in their arms.
Martina’s heart monitor and the baby’s monitor reported everything was working out as it should. The numbers had been explained by the bed-side nurses and Martina’s doctor. Dr. Belinda’s calm voice was another part of the safe feeling. The nurses had been skilled-caring-pilgrims during the overnight hours. Still, it had been a long night (Romans 8:25).
Labor was extended—not unusual with a first baby. Anxiety walked around the room showing little regard for the wife and husband.
“All is good,” was Dr. Belinda’s favorite phrase. The first-time soon-to-be parents liked those words. The words they despised: “Just be patient, we’re almost there.”
Of all the life-lessons the phrase, “Just be patient,” are among the most difficult for all human beings (Romans 8:26-27).
The same is true for disciples of Jesus. We are like first-time parents waiting for the return of Jesus—we are weary with anticipation. Our brother Paul portrays the waiting: “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:22).
Labor-time waiting is complex—hormones, heart rates and humor mix together in the complex ritual of delivery. Anyone who thinks labor is uncomplicated has zero experience.
Labor-time is personal—intimacies shared with very few people occur before delivery. Anyone who thinks labor is not in-your-face personal, probably sleeps through a fire-works blast.
Life Application Questions
What part of waiting for God brings your greatest challenge?
Given creation’s apparent spiritual pregnancy, what do today’s heart monitors tell you about the time of the Creation’s new birth?
What is your sense of spiritual assurance as “all creation groans?”