Not much else matters when the baby is due. It seems like the focus of every activity is either keeping life simple or making one more thing ready while you wait. And when the baby is ready to come, NOTHING else matters.
Babies provide great illustrations for a number of important lessons, but before we jump in let me say welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — the top spot on the internet for coffee with a cleric. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!
Somebody said that a child is carried in its mother’s womb for nine months. But “Somebody” does not realize that a child is carried in its mother’s heart forever.
Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you’ve had a baby. As a father of seven I can tell that “Somebody” doesn’t know that, once you add a baby into the family, normal is history.
Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by instinct. That “Somebody” never took a three-year-old shopping.
Somebody said being a mother is boring. But “Somebody” obviously never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver’s permit.
Perhaps I’m focused on babies today because we’re adding a couple of them into our family pretty soon. I’ve got one new grandchild due within a couple of weeks, and another in a couple months. The interesting thing about waiting for a baby is the tension of the due date. On the one hand, you want the baby to arrive so you can hold it, cuddle it, and do all the things new parents, grandparents and friends do with infants. But on the other hand, a baby who comes too soon is never a good thing. So we all try to wait patiently for the big day.
Today’s verse says I WAITED PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD, HE TURNED TO ME AND HEARD MY CRY
Waiting for a baby to come is easier than waiting for a prayer to be answered. There’s a sort of built-in time limit, if you will. I did read about a woman named Wang Shi in China who became pregnant in February of 2015 and, due to a medical condition called placenta previa, didn’t give birth for 18 months. Now THAT’s a long time to wait for a baby to be born!!
But when we’ve been praying to God for something, we don’t have a timeline on His answer. That can make waiting patiently a very hard thing to do. But He knows both the best answer and the optimal timing for our prayers, and He loves us. We need to let His love build a foundation of trust and patience in us.
A great story illustrating God’s faithfulness and timing comes from a medical missionary to Zaire about fifty years ago. Dr. Helen Roseveare related how a mother at her mission station died after giving birth to a premature baby. Improvising an incubator was not possible because the only hot water bottle on hand was beyond repair. As they began to pray for the baby and her now-orphaned sister, one of the girls asked, “Dear God, please send a hot water bottle today. Tomorrow will be too late because by then the baby will be dead. And dear Lord, send a doll for the sister so she won’t feel so lonely.” That very afternoon a large package arrived from England. Under some clothing was a hot water bottle! Immediately the girl who had prayed so earnestly started to dig deeper, exclaiming, “If God sent that, I’m sure He also sent a doll!” And she was right! Their heavenly Father knew how that child would pray, and 5 months earlier He had led a ladies’ group to include both of those specific articles.
I WAITED PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD, HE TURNED TO ME AND HEARD MY CRY
God’s answers to our prayers won’t always arrive in delivery boxes on the afternoon of the day we ask. But His answers and His timing can be trusted. We don’t see the whole picture, but He does. We think we know when the baby should come. We often want our answers NOW. But God knows the best time to deliver the answers to our prayers. One time our family was facing a crisis, and we thought we had come to the “midnight hour,” convinced that if we didn’t get an answer immediately all would be lost. God knew better. As my wife was praying about it being the midnight hour, God spoke clearly to her heart and said, “It’s NOT the midnight hour. It’s not even the eleventh hour.” You know what? He was right. His answer came. It came later than we wanted, but it came in HIs time and it met the need.
Let’s learn to WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD. At the proper time He will turn to you, hear your cry and answer your prayer.