I was looking for an encouragement word today and picked up my copy of The Message Bible and turned to this.
ROMANS 8:18-21 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.
22-25 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.
26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
Here are the highlights I see...
I am yearning as a pregnant woman ... I know there are some who would definitely not connect or relate to this image, but there it is in the text. A pregnant expectancy for creation to come to its full readiness. I wait for something good to be done and new in my work, faith and practice. I want to throw down truth in the face of fear so my fears know how little they really are. I know my anxiety is no match for the Spirit of God. Somehow I acknowledge that now as I am writing and after I found the passage. In moments when I am overwhelmed by the Goliath's of Fear, my heart is far from David's furor and focus. Goliath didn't last. The Philistines ran for their lives.
Meanwhile, the writer above has the conscience to know...
the moment we get tired in the waiting...
that is such a great line. I have been waiting for a moment. Expectant. Searching. Watching. Still. Be still my heart. God's Spirit is right alongside!
If we don't know what to pray...
Prayer has been hard lately. My fear? My furor? My focus? what is all this about ME?
GOD's SPIRIT! GOD's SPIRIT! GOD's SPIRIT!
Waiting, sighing, groaning, praying.
Dear Lord Jesus, In my heart of hearts I reach out to you and ask you to hold me, My Rooted Soul, and all that my family is asking and seeking in the very palm of your hand. Give us this day our daily bread. Protect us from Goliath's. Keep us from evil. Praising always your will, your kingdom, your honor, your name.
I don't seek after something that is not yours, Lord. I ask for the grace measured out by You, that we would know our earthly concerns would be known by You and You would work for You in Your favor so we might just touch, taste, or be close to something good.
Increase our joy! May we expect Your return, Your Spirit, and Your joy in the midst of hard work, diseased leg pain, sickness in kids and wife, and the hope that MRSC will be lasting and sustaining.
In Jesus Name - Amen.