Labor

Birthing and Longing

Birthing and Longing

‘You know, babe, I wish I could have known you would be all into this … birth stuff before we got married.’

We became pregnant just a few short months after our honeymoon, which unlocked inside of me what has become an enduring life passion: childbirth.

My favorite portion of Romans 8 is where Paul uses childbirth as a metaphor to teach us about our ultimate future glory.

‘For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God … For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.’

Whether it’s something as significant as a waiting to see a child to come to saving faith in Christ or something more temporal but strongly felt as waiting for a child to fall asleep (PLEASE!), we all know what it means to wait for something with eager longing.

But the waiting of childbirth—and, so, creation—is marked by groaning. This is not a comfortable waiting. It is waiting punctuated by great effort and, oftentimes, pain. The tension of ‘already but not yet’ is palabable in the delivery room. Every birth attendant knows that the baby is coming; but often as the hours or days of labor creep by, it is easy to fall into wondering if the baby will actually ever come

Christians are a people keenly aware that this world is not as it should be. When we look around and see hatred and bigotry, inequality and racism, poverty and wars, it would be right for us to literally moan, ‘When will Jesus redeem this once and for all!?’

Praise God that we have assurance that day IS coming—the baby WILL be born!—though it will be at an ‘hour no one knows.’

Just like a woman in labor, may we endeavor to put those groanings to work. May our groans sound like women who shout gospel truth through the labor halls of life. And may we know when we get to see our Savior face to face, it will be cause for infinite joy—a moment that will make the breathtaking moment of looking into the faces of our own children once they’ve been born pale in comparison.