Labor and Glory
Fluttering of belly and heart. Aching body, longing soul. Endless musing on the name, face, personality and identity of the life within. So intimate, yet not introduced. Missing. As if a spot in her heart has been vacant all along, awaiting in eager anticipation for that single, unique, human fit. A person.
Almost nine months ago, a man loved a woman with such brimming passion that it overflowed with creative energy into her being. And as they exulted in that supreme expression of oneness,
The event was so exhilarating that it risked everything. Casting off fear with joyful abandon; embracing the pain and heartache; accepting the imminent personal failures and extraordinary responsibility; daring Life to come forth as a worthy reward for Love’s great work.
In a tiny way, this gift of motherhood gives a glimpse into the depths of the Father’s heart and His infinite longing – an intimate knowledge of His all-consuming desire to cradle His adoring children in His arms, finally and forever. “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory…” (John 17:24).
The longing enlarges like the bulging of her belly. Her time has come. Faster and harder she contracts, her body taxed to the uttermost. The pains seem beyond endurance, yet she presses on, surrendering to its indomitable force with prayers and groans deeper than words can utter.
Then – in one incredible, timeless moment – the missing was gone, filled up in the tiny being her arms now caress. Heart only moments before squeezed of every last ounce of vigor, now suddenly floods with joy inexpressible, love incomprehensible.
And when those tiny fingers, and wriggling toes make their eternal imprints upon the world, she feels as though her heart would break with love beneath the weight of it.
A life so deeply missed, finally kissed.
The time is drawing near when Creation too will labor and groan in “earnest expectation…eagerly waiting for the revealing of the sons of God.” A time when His people, His Church, His Bride will endure tribulation beyond precedent. But she will not despair. The time draws near when, though beaten, martyred, persecuted and hated, she will say in serene confidence:
“…the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the GLORY which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18-19).
In that Day, the Father will wipe away every tear from her eye. The pain will be forgotten, the missing a faded memory. Refined in the flame, pressed on through the narrow, difficult canal that leads to life, she emerges into Glory, beholding her Maker face to face. And she declares to the heavens…
It was worth it all.