Monday, 21 May 2012

I'm a pregnant refugee

I was thinking very philosophically this morning, and I've decided my body must be feeling so bad because my heart is in the wrong place, as well. As much as I have been ill a lot recently, the things that have been really bothering me are more of a heart nature.
I was reading from The Message the other day (seriously my favourite Bible paraphrase - so readable and makes the Bible come alive if you're struggling, as I often do. Don't use it for study though) and I read from Romans 8:19-28. I would usually just link to it, but the words are so powerful I'll put them in full here:

The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens. All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Something that often bothers me is that I don't know what to pray. I know how, just not what. My prayers tend always be along the lines of 'God, I need you, I don't really know what I'm doing here'. And at the moment I seem to be living with a general feeling of uneasiness and lack of satisfaction. I know I'm supposed to find rest in God and find satisfaction in Him, but that doesn't really seem to happen. 

There's another passage, in Hebrews 13:14, that says 'This world is not our home, we are looking forward to our city in Heaven, which is yet to come'. I think what I tend to do is look for a home, and seek satisfaction in my next new adventure or the next big thing. It's one reason I move around so much. But in looking for a home and satisfaction in what I do here, I find myself feeling less and less satisfied and at ease, and the lesson I think I'm being taught is that I need to remember that I'm not a citizen of this world, and nothing will feel 'like home' until I'm there, in the real, physical new heaven and new earth, standing before my God and loving Him perfectly. Until then, I'm a refugee, continually searching for somewhere secure but not finding it. I need to remember that my home is not here yet, and to look forward to it is the only way to find contentment in the present.

So why these verses that I wrote out in full? I feel all of those things. I feel held back. I feel reined in. I feel anticipation, but no satisfaction. I feel difficult times of pain inside me as well as outside. I'm yearning for 'full deliverance'. And it's so reassuring to know that that's normal! I'm not expected to find satisfaction now. The anticipation I feel is my 'enlargement' - my own growth. I may feel like I'm stuck in stagnation and unsatisfaction, but that itself is part of my development. And when I get tired in the waiting, which I often do, God's spirit is with me. He prays with me when I don't know what to pray. He takes my tears and groans and turns them into prayers to God. And that reassurance is what I need to keep going.

It might seem a bit odd to have that last sentence "and that's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good". It doesn't appear to fit, but I can really see why it's there. When you're feeling that anticipation, that unsatisfaction (which my spellchecker is telling me isn't a word, but I'm going to use it anyway), it's easy to feel like God has forgotten you, and you're just coasting along from day to day with no meaning in life. But, in fact, I am continually brought before God by the Spirit, and He works everything out into something good. What can be more reassuring, and give more hope, than that?

P.S. In case you read this post wondering if I'm pregnant, I'm not. Only spiritually pregnant..

Something else that cheered me up today is this video. Not quite as deep as the rest of my post, but it's cute, and sometimes I feel like the baby elephant!

1 comment:

  1. wow! so powerful. just landed on your blog. but am humbled by what God is doing through you and your insight. may His word continue to dwell in you richly. Christ is the real deal