When your wife is 8 months pregnant and expecting any day, you begin to end all of your sentences with the phrase, "unless the baby comes." Any plans we make, any ideas we have for how to spend a day, any attempts at putting something on the calendar all go through the grid of "baby or no baby" scenarios. Our first daughter came a month early and caught us by surprise, so this time we're ready. Almost too ready. We wake up everyday and think, "maybe this is the day!" And we go to bed each night talking about what we'll do the next day, "unless the baby comes."
I can't help but think that waiting for the physical birth of a child is a bit like waiting for spiritual birth or renewal to take place in our life, or in the life of a church. New birth, whether physcial or spiritual, is truly miraculous because it's not something you can force or make happen. (Ok, I know that medically speaking, there are things they can do to make a baby come out, but just go with me on this, ok? Besides, everyone agrees that the best possible scenario is always when the baby comes on its own time.) We can't make our baby come. We can't do anything to cause labor to happen. And believe me, we've tried! We would pay a lot of money for an "Easy" button we could push and have the baby come on our schedule.
But instead, all we can do is provide the right environment in which the birth can take place. My wife eats well, stays active, and gets plenty of rest. We've prepared a nursery, bought baby clothes, and pre-registered at the hospital.
We've been talking as a staff at our church about how we feel like we're on the verge of really great things happening. We feel a bit like we're awaiting a miraculous birth of spiritual awakening and renewal. And yet, we also recognize that we can't make this happen! New birth is always the miraculous working of our heavenly Father, as He opens eyes and softens hearts to respond to Him. For us, we are focused on providing the right environment for spiritual birth to take place. We stay focused in our work. We pray and ask God to have His way. We love people and point them to the Savior. And we wait for spiritual breakthrough, which just like human birth, WILL happen!
Have you hit a point in your life where something new needs to happen? Are you in a sense waiting for God to bring you new life? Know this- you can't force it, or make it happen. But you can provide the right envirnoment in which God can and will work. Stay focused. Keep praying. Keep dreaming big, impossible, God-sized dreams. And wait on Him. He will bring new life, and it will be at just the right time.
Enjoying the journey of waiting on God (and babies),