Are you expecting?
It’s a weird sentence, at least for me. I’ve never been pregnant. My children – my amazing children – are both adopted. So the word “expecting” has never been pointed in my direction.
And yet, it’s still a question I consider. Am I expecting? Am I living a life open to the conception of what God might allow in my days? Yielded to what he wants to grow in me – and birth into my world?
I pray these words from my friend Debbie Johnson woo you to answer this question for yourself.
Living in Expectation
By Debbie Johnson
In the old days, we referred to a pregnant woman as “expecting.” Somehow that put a lovely spin on the uniting of egg and sperm. “Pregnant” was much too clinical a concept for the refined among us. And “expecting” has a nice ring to it.
Expecting the miracle. Expecting cuddles and kisses. Expecting a new life.
Yet expecting includes parts of mothering that can’t be anticipated.
To live in expectation and yet to be given some things you did not expect is what mothering is about. It’s also what Christmas is about. Jesus arrived … by birth … as the promised Messiah, the King. But he died and was resurrected without establishing an earthly kingdom. No doubt many were thinking, “What’s up with that? Was this all an illusion?”
We now understand that he never intended to set up a Kingdom based on people’s expectations. He is birthed into our hearts, to change us from within, to love us far beyond what we could ever expect. He had something far better in mind that an earthly kingdom.
So here we are. In the winter of 2015. What can we expect of God?
Advent is past. The period of expectation.
Christmas is past. The period of birth.
The new year is already getting old.
We are still in winter, but expecting spring.
For me, life is about more expectation. Getting rid of illusions and living in expectation of something far better.
What would you like for the Spirit of God to birth into your life this season? It might include some or all of the following: great hope, excitement, enlarged capacity, feeling the quickening of the Spirit’s work, groaning with the pains of labor, more excitement, and then, a new “baby” called _______ (fill in the blank). My expectation is for more patience, so I’ll name my expectation Patience.
Along the way we may ask, “God, what are You up to? My life is often hard and messy. What about my questions and doubts and prayers that haven’t yet been answered? Just how far can this belly skin stretch?”
Mary, the mother of Jesus told God, “Let it be done to me as You have said.”
God knew the future for Mary. God knew her path would include both joy and sorrow. And God knew the child she carried was the Savior of the world.
Like Mary, let’s trust that what God wants to bring to fruition in us is far beyond our expectations. Far better. He’ll stretch us to make way for the plan.
Enlarge your heart. Make room for God. Listen for his heartbeat. Watch him work.
Live in glorious expectation of something wonderful this year. Live in expectation of Jesus, who is called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Live in glorious expectation of what the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace wants to birth in you.
Debbie Johnson has led local and global ministries, from an urban jobs program called Denver Works to service among the Dalits (“Untouchables”) of India. She now lives the farm life with her husband in Colorado. Debbie’s blog is adapted from “The Visitation” by Tara Malouf with permission.