“Prayer is the ultimate source of hope and encouragement for the journey that lies ahead.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 13, 2021
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12 (ESV)
Few things in life are filled with more hope than the anticipation of the birth of a child. The wonder and mystery of life, now living within the womb of the new mother, is almost too much for the human heart and mind to grasp. God alone is the giver of life, yet it is in and through the sacrificial love of the mother that this life is born into the world.
Life is always a gift, and therefore a source of great joy and hope. Even in the most difficult of situations and circumstances, a mother to be carrying a child within her is an icon to the world of the creative God we serve. God spoke life into being in the beginning, and we join in that ancient creative dance when we are open to receive this great gift of life. That said, it is entirely possible for a child to be a gift and a source of great struggle.
As St. Paul says in Romans, in the same breath we might find ourselves both rejoicing in hope and learning patience through times of tribulation. The sacrificial love a mother shows is just that: a sacrifice. Carrying a child brings great physical turmoil and tribulation, with each passing month adding to the pain and difficulty. Additionally, many moms to be have the added stress of financing the birth, navigating the expectations and demands of extended family, and the possibility of increased relational tension with their spouse. Pregnancy can be an unspeakable gift, and at the same time an alienating and disorienting journey.
The final encouragement from Paul in Romans 12:12 is the key to navigating this season with grace and an abiding faith. Be constant in prayer. Prayer is the foundational rhythm of our lives, in times of great hope and in times of severe trial. When we pray, we cultivate a living relationship with God, one that carries us through each and every season. It teaches us that hope is not conditioned upon the circumstances of our lives but is rooted in the unwavering love of God for his people.
Whatever joy or challenge you or the moms to be in your life face, remember that an abiding life of prayer is the ultimate source of hope and encouragement for the journey that lies ahead.
Father, strengthen moms to be with the gift of your presence, known in and through an abiding life of prayer. Amen.
How can you grow your life of prayer in intentional and deliberate ways, even as you anticipate the birth of your child?
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