Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The unknown hour

The unknown hour (and day!) is upon me!  I sit here, eagerly and anxiously awaiting labor to begin!  

At 41.1 weeks, I now have to chuckle because I was worried early on about even making it to term! 

I am reminded how God has provided for us each step of the way:
  • I remember at 22 weeks when the pain in my right side (under/in my ribs) hit me. Ultrasounds of gallbladder, liver, kidneys, and baby/placenta all came back ok.  We only found mild hydronephrosis - which many pregnant women have.  We prayed for release of pain.  God answered.  Within 2 weeks I was mostly pain free.
  • I remember at 28 weeks when the heart palpitations began, sometimes lasting 4 hours at a time.  I remember at 30 weeks, hearing the cardiologist say, "If your ECHO (ultrasound of the heart) shows anything abnormal, I will recommend early delivery and no more babies."  We prayed. God answered. Normal ECHO.
  • I remember when the blurred vision hit me.  I had walked into church at 33.5 weeks and felt like I just couldn't get my eyes focused.  Tests over the next two weeks showed I had protein in my urine.  Concern arose for early delivery.  We prayed.  God answered. Protein-gone!  Blood pressures and labs remained good.  Blurred vision stabilized.
When I think of all the ways the Lord has heard our prayers, I cannot help but thank him that I am now overdue!  

As I await for 'the moment' when labor will begin, I've found myself thinking about Jesus' words in Matthew.

Matthew 24:36-37,44 says, "But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man." "Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."

While I don't know the hour that labor will begin, neither do I know when Jesus will return!  He tells us though to be ready, to prepare.  

There will be both hardships and joys.  

Labor will be difficult, a time of suffering, a time of anguish.  I will long for it to end.  I will beg God for a release from the pain.  I know I will!

Likewise, end times will be hard.  Harder than hard.  More difficult than anything we can imagine! The Bible reminds us that there will be persecution, troubles, wickedness and deep anguish.  For those who refuse Christ, the punishment will be an eternity of unending pain.

But friends, there is hope.  We cannot lose our minds in the hardships.  There is HOPE! 

I cannot help but think about the joys to come at the end of labor.  The overwhelming joy that it will be to hold and see our baby for the first time.  To have a love for something that I've never felt before - an instant love, as I've been told.  The joy of seeing Mike hold our baby for the first time. Our child, in its father's arms.  

I am then reminded of the joys that will come at the end of time.  For those of us who believe in Jesus, the suffering we endure WILL NOT continue forever!  There will be a time when the joy overcomes the pain.  The moment when we are wrapped in our Father's arms and His love endures us forever!

What an incredible promise we get to look forward to!  Praise God for this beautiful and tangible picture of heaven, through the anticipated birth of our child.  

The challenge I have for myself (and maybe you) today, even more than meeting our child, is to eagerly await for that time.  That moment.  The unknown hour of our Savior, Jesus', return.

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