The Waiting Gives Birth to the Joy

My people at Round Pond Church know that my wife, Amanda, is pregnant with our fourth child.  She is due on the 29th of March but could go any day now.  To be sure, I am excited about my baby daughter’s arrival.  But the excitement is mingled with anxiety.  Not the kind of anxiety that comes with doing something you dread but the kind of anxiety that says, “I hope I’m ready to get her to the Labor and Delivery Unit in time for her to get the epidural.”  It’s been 5 years since our last child was born and I have long forgotten this pressure.

As we sit on the edge of our seats and await the anticipated meeting with our daughter for the first time face to face I have to admit, the waiting is tough (of course, much worse for Amanda).  Every day is full of expectation.  I jump every time my phone rings.  We have restructured our calendar for weeks to come, unsure of when she will arrive.  Knowing her coming is immanent has got our lives centered on her and everything else has taken a back seat (including the Bible class I was taking…and loving.)

All of this has a familiarity to it, doesn’t it?  Jesus tells us that his coming is soon and that we should watch and wait (Matthew 25:13).  He even likens the pains and sorrows we feel in these last days to “the beginning of birth pains (Matthew 24:8).”  God has given me a living-breathing picture of how my life is to look as I sit on the edge of my seat waiting of my Lord to return for me.  Is every day full of expectation?  Do my schedules and priorities reflect a “braxton hicks” lifestyle?  Is my life centered on the reality that soon the womb of Heaven will open up and our Lord shall meet us face to face?

Yes, the waiting is the hardest part… and it’s getting even more difficult by the day.  The pain of brokenness, sickness, and grief are almost unbearable at times.  Yet, in John 16:21 Jesus says, “When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.”  The waiting will come to an end and for each of us who hoped for his coming, it will produce joy; uninterrupted and endless joy.  “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you (John 16:22).”

The waiting gives birth to the joy and I’ve seen it first hand in the births of my 3 amazing children and I’m living it in the anticipation of my fourth.  Glory to God for this hope!  Even so, Lord, come quickly!