We called up with excitement "How's she doing? Any baby yet?"
"Not yet" was the answer, but she's working on it, labouring....
We sent our love and prayers and walked away, my daughter and I, our hearts full. Mine was full with the vicarious range of emotions that the pains of childbirth bring...joy, expectation, trepidation, compassion, exhaustion and wonder. My little girl was just gloriously excited that a baby was being born.
I wonder what goes on in heaven at these times, birth moments, a new life, tiny body, fresh, untainted spirit, potential, hope.
Does the heavenly host revel this much when a soul is born into the kingdom, or even more?
Being born a first time, and then a second, eternity set before us, perilous, wondrous, overwhelming. The beginning of a journey is most often filled with hope.
Sometimes labour is hard and drawn out. It seems that the new life pressing to come forth is hindered. Cervix is widening, painfully, slowly. Not unlike a soul's birth or character being formed, the heart's opening can be too narrow or unwilling to allow the newness of hope to come forth. The soul too comfortable in the warmth of the familiar is unwilling to reach into the bright unknown.
Yet God's persistent hand reaches in and grasps hold of this hesitant one and gradually, firmly draws a squalling, frightened child into a new place. And really, once we clean off the gunk of the journey and press in close to the Father's heart, it's not so bad.
Bright and kind of loud, but a place of discovering, moving, feeding, being sustained by a new source of life.
And love as never known before. Being held, caressed, fed, sung to, protected, gazed upon and nurtured.
Doesn't our Father God do all these things for us? He sustains and nurtures us every moment. Sometimes we don't recognize His hand. But that may be because it's cradling us close and we've forgotten, become too comfortable in His embrace.
Lord open our eyes to the wonder of your parental care over us. How you clothe and feed and love and sing to your children. Give us the courage to move forth into the places of new birth that you want to take us.
Thank you for this sweet reminder tonight.
"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
"The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
Praying for you Beth...