Scott and I are always talking about the value of conscious contact with an inspired way of seeing. We think it matters. Someone recently suggested that perhaps we move on from that point, “I got it,” they said. But here’s the deal – Scott and I know that in spite of our own commitment to living out of this certain way of seeing God, the world and ourselves – we forget it ALL THE TIME! We know how easy it is to forget when we are cranky, frightened, anxious, or super angry. We forget. We have no plans of assuming that any of us “get it” and moving on. At least not until after the election. Because evidently all of us are prone to losing our framework of treating one another with dignity and respect during an election year. But I digress.
Returning to our topic – we have belabored this imagery of a hovering God for 8 days. And we mentioned that this is NOT codependent hovering, but another expression of God on mission. He’s up to something. It includes a love relationship with people. He is undeterred and unstoppable. The next obvious is question – what can I expect from this hovering God?
22 We know that the whole creation is groaning together and suffering labor pains up until now. 23 And it’s not only the creation. We ourselves who have the Spirit as the first crop of the harvest also groan inside as we wait to be adopted and for our bodies to be set free. Romans 8:22-23 CEB
God is hovering – serving as a midwife of sorts over our faith journey. According to Dale Ryan, we are participating in the laborious process of delivering a new heaven and a new earth. This imagery is very personal for me, as I watch my own daughter conceive, carry and give birth to her son. We celebrate the birth of our precious grandson, whom I haven’t met as of this writing, but love already. But honestly, there is a lot of enduring that goes into this conception-birth-delivery cycle.
Christian’s parents do not know it yet, although they are getting a glimpse in these last days of gestation, but the birth of this boy will change both of them forever. I know this, because my children, although all grown up and on their own, have transformed me. Since the day they were conceived, not a day passed where they were not among my first and last thoughts of the day. I still groan over them in prayer. Every day. Parenting requires that we endure. We must set aside many of the tools we have used to manage our own messy lives in favor of new ways that are healthier for our children. This is not easy, groaning is unavoidable, and I do not believe there will ever be a time when this process is finished. I believe this because my own mother, in the throes of dementia, still has the capacity to groan over me. Some days she does not recognize my father or know which house she’s living in – but every day she talks to me, she asks, “How are you? Are you tired? What is Peter doing? When you come I will cook you a roast.”
I don’t even eat roast, but Pete does and somehow she remembers that once upon a time she knew how to cook and she made Pete a roast – because she loves the guy who loves her baby. God is serving as a mid-wife for this new heaven and new earth, but much of the process is difficult and painful.
Today, consider how this news might inform your own suffering. Have you hoped for a softer, gentler way to give birth to this new thing God is doing? How has that unnecessarily drained you? How can you gather a healthier perspective about your own life, knowing that this is how life works?