I confess, I am fully disqualified to write about this. I am not a mom (duh!) nor a dad. I do, however, have a bassinet-load of third-hand testimonies to bear out what I’m about to share. Every woman who desires to have a family begins the initial nine-month-long process aware that there are difficulties which will be encountered along the way. Difficulties familiar enough and unpleasant enough to avoid elaborating on them here. Certainly, the birth event itself is not the part of the journey most anticipated, unless it’s the ‘after’ part – the cradling of a newborn human in her arms. (Perhaps as meager encouragement to all moms, I recently read that the pregnancy of a hippo at the Virginia Zoo was 507 days – comparison limited here to duration only, ladies. Her baby girl’s birth weight was 100 lbs.) OK, we’re done here. Moving along.

Life has many situations which are bearable based mainly on the outcome. Studying. Building a house. Dieting. Fitness regimes. Moving. Subscribing to a lifestyle of holiness. Growing our faith. We engage in these activities, and see them through to completion, for the results. For the satisfying sense of accomplishment. To feel God’s pleasure at our efforts.

That followers of Jesus are in this world but not of this world guarantees run-ins with a system of morals and ethics at variance with our newly adopted one. Jesus’ clear presentation of what it would mean to follow him is reassuring in that here is no ‘bait-and-switch’ in him. Nothing arrives on our doorstop without his foreknowledge, his provision. And this is the crux of our faith walk, isn’t it? Knowing every circumstance, bar none, is within his purview, his watch care, his endless love. At the celebrative events of our lives, we (of course) accept his hand being at work on our behalf. But in the painful, discouraging events of our lives, we’re required to hunker down into the Truth of his Word, holding on while being lashed with doubts and fears, until the ‘after’ comes. It is then, from a deeper place of quiet confidence we gratefully acknowledge his presence, his provision, his Master Plan, his unchanging Love. Yes!  PD

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