“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 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, any more 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.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”
– Romans 8:22-28 (MSG)
My refrigerator (AKA Old Silver) was making strange sputtering and sizzling sounds a couple of weeks ago. At first I was really proud of him for expressing his frustration with old age. Sure he was clearly grumbling, but Old Silver has served us so well for so long, I was glad he had finally found his voice regarding all the hard work he does for our family.
But then Old Silver decided twenty degrees would have to be good enough for the ice cream, and we are not a people who play around with our cookies ‘n cream. It was clear we’d have to do something. Home Depot’s $20 haul away service enabled Old Silver to go on to a better place. I’m sure we’ll get a Christmas card from him in December.
But I can’t help but wonder if there’s some kind of virus spreading from one possession to another in our house. I think we have a Possession Plague. I’m no eschatologist, but I think this could be End-Times-kind-of-stuff, you guys.
Let me break it down:
Earlier last month my ancient Sequoia was cruising along fine and then the radiator exploded. A few days ago its battery died because it has forgotten how to keep the headlights off. Sweet Bessie isn’t the vehicle she once was. And today the check engine light decided to get LIT again. (I am a cool mom and super hip with my fancy slang talk because I have teenagers.)
Next in line for the Appliance Plague was our dishwasher, whom I like to call TWDE (The Worst Dishwasher Ever). TWDE has been found to be full of slimy, disgusting, awful mold. She’s literally rotting from the inside out. Only the Holy Spirit can tell you how long we have been eating on mold rinsed dishes. GOD BLESS US EVERY ONE.
Let’s move on to the land of laundry appliances, shall we?
While the washing machine seems to be holding up okay, I’m fairly certain the White Witch of Narnian fame has come to live in my dryer with her eternal winter temperatures, because I have to run every load for an hour and twenty minutes, and even then I hang the heavy towels up to finish drying. The electric company has offered to send us a free Thanksgiving turkey as a bonus for all our extra usage, though, which we really appreciate.
What I’m saying is that it seems like everything is broken.
And yet, somehow the brokenness helps me to see better.
Which is good, because I desperately long to be able to see clearly here.
After all, it isn’t only physical objects that are broken. I have friends facing discouraging diagnoses and in need of miracles to save their marriages. My kids have friends at school whose parents have created trauma in their families that isn’t easily repaired. The number of desperate prayers for mercy and restoration I utter each day is unfathomable.
Somehow my broken refrigerator, car, and dishwasher seem like easy fixes in the light of souls aching for answers in dark places. I used to cope with hard things by imagining all the ways God would ride in to rescue us all. But I’m too tired to do that today.
I’ve decided to stare through the brokenness into the light of Romans:
“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along…He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked out into something good.”
Yes, the world sometimes seems full of brokenness, but because of Jesus the trauma can’t kill us. In fact, we’re pregnant with eternity.
It’s rainy here in Austin today. I’m making homemade soup and waiting for something good to be born by God, through the pain, through my life, and through yours. Frankly, I’ll take any good news anyone has as evidence that none of us should give up any time soon. I’m eating my favorite fall candy corn and I’m drinking all the coffee while I read all my books. I’m trying SO HARD to finish my short ebook to send all my email friends, and I’m crazy excited for you to read it.
As I type, I’m feasting on the nourishing words Morgan serves up so well: The best is yet to come.
I can almost taste it. I can almost see the day we will stand together in his presence and celebrate our great homecoming. I’m incredibly grateful to belong to him, to belong with you, to be a part of the Church Jesus loves so deeply. What a gift God is to us, and what a joy we can be to one another.
Here’s to waiting well. May the Spirit keep us present before God as we wait.