This has been the longest 9 months of my life. I state this not as a complaint, but as a simple observation for which I am learning to be grateful.
A recent post from Kari Jobe, who is expecting a son at around the same time as I am, has again reminded me of the beautiful and purposeful nature of God’s time table, “It [pregnancy] has taught me the importance of not rushing a process, there’s a specific reason it takes 9, really 10 months to grow a baby. God doesn’t get in a hurry when He works on birthing something new in our lives.” (1)
Pregnancy is alot like sanctification. If He wanted to, God could snap His fingers and instantly transform us into the Image of His Son. We bow our head to say the sinner’s prayer, and POOF rise to our feet in the blazing glory of a fully, sanctified saint.
God doesn’t do that. He chooses to allow the trials and highs and in-betweens of a lifetime to slowly shape us into the likeness of Christ. It is only through “skin on skin” contact of our new selves against the gritty, hard reality of this fallen world that the life of Christ blossoms and becomes fully mature in us.
In the same way, God could choose to reduce the length of pregnancy to a matter of weeks, or even days. We arise from bed one morning to discover that we are with child, and will deliver that afternoon. “Honey, you better call off work today! I just got a positive test!”
Instead, we endure 9 months of puking, and swelling, and nesting before we can finally hold that sweet, bundle of joy in our arms. So why the wait?
In either scenario, wouldn’t it save both mother and infant, God and newly-adopted child, a lot of trouble and heartache just to get it over with?
Christ is infinitely more patient with the process than we are because He understands what is of the highest value, and is willing to wait in order to get it.
Namely, God understands that
Love takes time.
Real love, the deep, rich, happy sighing-over kind, doesn’t happen in an instant. Love at first sight, though brilliant and blazing, can burn out quickly without the right foundation.
The love I shared with my husband when we were dating was beautiful and iconic, but it doesn’t compare to the time-tested, weather-worn, love we share today after two years of marriage, a cross country move, and now the process of creating and waiting on a new life.
God doesn’t turn us into Jesus replicas the instant we receive Him because He values real relationship with us. For the Christian, God has designed this “in-between” on earth as period of courtship between Heavenly Groom and soon to be Bride. He is artfully using this broken reality to woo His beloved and prepare her for an eternal love story that is going to blow apart our wildest imaginations. This time is sacred, and we only get it once.
As for the nearly year-long journey of pregnancy, I suspect that the wait is less about growing the baby as it is about growing the mother.
Moms, while you are busy growing a little life, God is busy growing you.
While you are waiting and beginning to waddle, He is building the foundation for a life-long love relationship unlike any other in human existence–the bond between parent and child.
Before we have ever laid eyes on our little one, we have learned afresh what it means to suffer for someone.
We have been trained in placing the needs of someone so small and helpless above our own.
We have discovered what it means to sacrifice for someone who has no means of repayment.
Ladies, it is through our late night bathroom runs, perpetual hunger, and swollen feet that we become ready to enter this great, crazy honor called parenthood.
And just when we are bursting at the seams, both physically and emotionally, we will be met with a love worth waiting for.
The next time you pull out your calendar and count down the days, remember to view each day not as a burden, but as an opportunity to expand your capacity to love.
So, come soon little baby!…but not too soon.
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