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 is within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We are 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 want to be brave in my waiting, like Thoreau, and say, "so be it!" But instead I groan and I sigh. How loving it is of the Spirit to gather up those sighs and groans and fashion them into prayers.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired of 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 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 is why we can be sure that in every detail of our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Waiting has been on my mind lately and, the way it usually happens when you have something on your mind, I see echoes of the subject all around me. Tuesday I came across it in Thoreau's journal and posted his stirring declaration, "If my life is a waiting - so be it. I will not be shipwrecked on a vain reality." Today I find the problem of waiting addressed in Romans, chapter 8. Here is an excerpt from The Message translation: