(reblog from Christmas week 2010)
I write to you as I sit in the upper room of my parents’ home, looking down at the infant boy sleeping next to me. The beauty of my son astounds me. And I am not a “baby person” if you know what I mean. But that piece doesn’t come into play when you have had this precious one forming inside of your womb for nine months.
I will never forget when one of my best friends shared with me her confidence that God knew what He was doing to have us carry our children inside of us for so long: in that time He was teaching us to love this child, helping us to get to know him, giving us time to grow together in anticipation for the grand arrival. I love that.
I’ll be honest, though. I hate being pregnant. Ask any of my closest friends and they will tell you, along with stories that probably shouldn’t be shared. It’s painful, annoying, makes me feel gross and it always feels like it will never end. Thats just the tip of the iceberg for me. I will spare you graphic detail. But inasmuch as I hate it, I know what comes out of this season of discomfort… I’ve done it twice now… I will do it again… (hopefully not anytime soon though) because what results is beauty beyond measure, love unspeakable and an incredible life story beginning to be written.
But, without the pregnancy, no life results. Someone has to make room inside.
I reflect on how Mary and Joseph must have felt as they were awaiting the birth of their newborn son, Jesus Christ. The One whose life story would rewrite history. His every word, every move, God-breathed. His life… recorded for you and me.
I reflect on the fact that it is only because of this story of His life, death and resurrection that my life has any meaning at all. It is only because of Jesus that I can truly heal, find hope, freedom, be forgiven and in turn forgive. It is only because of Jesus that I begin to understand love. It is only because of Jesus that I can testify that the most rotten evil intended to break, destroy and devour you and me can instead be turned into something beautiful and glorious, turning darkness to light and setting captives free.
Oh, the birth of Jesus… He came so that our lives would have new meaning. But like Mary, we have to make room for Him inside of us. Like the animals in the manger, we have to make room for Him in our homes. And if we want to experience His healing, His transforming power and His love in such a way that our hurts and hangups become rewritten, we have to make room for Jesus to walk with us on our healing path, too.
“Everyone walks through the fire of adversity, but whatever your experiences - joys or sorrows - our amazing God can use every bit of your life to produce the most unexpected results.” -Jason Crabb
This is a process… His work in our hearts and lives and relationships takes time. Just as He started out as tiny SweetBabyJesus, so does our personal healing journey and our ministry to others begin small and, with time, room and perseverence, grow. We will experience pain, hurt, confusion, exhaustion and the like. But because of Jesus, we do not lose hope. Something greater is coming from all this!
“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 from 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, anymore 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.” Romans 8:22-25 (The Message)
So do not be discouraged if this journey seems long. Do not lose hope if you are experiencing pain or frustration along the way. Do not be letdown if the road before you seems dimly lit. God is always at work. He is always guiding us and growing us. Preparation takes time and takes development and requires us to give it more room. Christ’s coming is proof of that and His return will be the final say. Until then, let yourself be enlarged, allow God to grow you, develop you and mold you during this waiting period. He holds your hand during the painful parts and carries you when you feel too heavy to walk. He will do a bigger work in you and through you than you can even imagine right now. But we must make room for Him.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices!