Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's all about the waiting

This Week's Highlights:
  • Breakfast with husband, prayer and quiet time afterwards
  • Swimming with Hubby at the Y
  • Working a four hour shift in the afternoon, seeing customers I haven't seen for awhile
  • Hubby bringing flowers to me at work in the drive-through
  • Ginger in the jeep with Hubby, wagging her tail hello
  • Ginger going to the vet, Lisa, who helped us through the tough time when Buttercup had to be put down
  • Great turn out at our ESL class (I couldn't go, not feeling well)
  • Watching "The Lives of Others" DVD with Dennis
  • Seeing Valentine, an old co-worker, drop by to visit me at work
  • Seeing Lis Wilson, an ESL teacher by profession who taught in Tunisia and is back in the States teaching in Oregon, who came with me to Church on Sunday
  • Joan asking me about going back to SICF (International Christian Group)on Sundays, I need to alternate that with her husband Tom's class on Cross-Cultural Servanthood
  • Finding out that our friend Dingeh from Zambia knows Bob and Patty Meredith from The Navigators in same country
  • Church, in general, because I love University Reformed Church, where we go every week
  • Finding out that Art and Marty are starting to go to URC--they are a couple who are really neat customers at my Starbucks
  • A regular customer, Cindy, offering a ride to a new MSU student whose car just broke down on Jolly Road
  • Enjoying the rich stories about women in the Bible from Gien Karssen's "Her Name is Woman" series, vols. 1 and 2. I've read them several times before a long time ago, it is great to re-read them now
  • Having a chance to encourage a young woman at work who is having a hard time with her boyfriend being away to study in another state, then meeting her parents and finding out that they know several people in my church
  • Letter from Danielle, a co-worker who is now living in New York
  • Hearing about Kevin and Trishia's new baby girl, Elizabeth Mae

And, finally, last but not least, but actually transcends the list: Learning more about how God is still with us even if we can't feel Him--

"That's why I don't think there's any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held
back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready
and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead.
Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

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."


--Eugene Petersen, The Message, Romans 8

Following Christ, then, is like being a pregnant woman. We ache, groan, get restless, have to wait, feel too large, feel birth pangs and have a joyful anticipation. Like a single person who is looking forward to the Return and the resulting marriage feast of Christ and His Church, I'm encouraged by these verses, having never been pregnant and probably never will. But I can experience the yearning for full deliverance.

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