October 2, 1991
Our fourth grandchild was due July 20th. The mother and father were prepared. They had the bedroom painted, tiny clothes bought, diapers folded and stacked, and even a few toys stashed in the closet.
We were really excited too. But because we are not within shouting distance any more, we carried a borrowed cellular phone everywhere - for four weeks. By the 26th, we had to constantly remind ourselves that babies eventually are born... it would happen. This was not an event we would somehow miss because the date came and went.
Some of our friends teased us and said the baby would come the day we forgot the phone. Some of them wanted to get the number and call us, just to watch our blood pressure raise.
Of course we thought about this expected baby most of the time. What would it look like? Would it be a boy or a girl? We prayed for its health and for a safe delivery. Towards the end, we prayed it would turn the right way up (it did) and that our daughter would have strength to deliver (she did) and her husband would have his wits about him as he helped her in the case room (he did). The whole thing was a little like waiting for the Second Coming; we didn’t know the exact time but we were certain it would happen!
We do know that Christ will arrive, even though His return is not limited to nine months. Still, God tells us to “wait for His Son from heaven” with that same attitude of expectancy and joyful desire as we waited for this baby. The biggest difference is that when He comes life’s trials will end and we will go to forever be with the Lord. (Some mothers figure the arrival of a baby is the beginning of life’s trials!)
The Bible reminds us: “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:2-6)
For some, Christ’s second coming will be as an unexpected thief. Those who did not believe it would happen will be shocked and “overtaken.” But it will surely happen. To use another metaphor, it is a certain as labor pains are certain for a woman who is pregnant.
As for those who are “the sons of light” (a term used to describe Christians), that day is to be expected, but as we wait our anticipation should provoke thoughtful, godly living. We should not be inattentive like a sleeping person or blind like one who is darkness. Although we do not know exactly what He looks like, we know our waiting will be rewarded because we already know that He is indeed the Son of God who will take us to spend eternity with Him.
The grandchild we waited for with such anticipation turned out to be a dark-haired, blue-eyed girl, who weighed 8 lbs. 11 oz. and looked so “mature” that her mother says, “She came out well-done.” She is a great delight to us, a fulfilment of our excited expectations.
When Jesus comes, we know that delight will be similar yet multiplied. He will fulfil every desire of our hearts and give delight that will last forever. Our responsibility is to be ready, eager for Him to arrive, even telling others so they can share in the event and not be surprised when the labor pains begin.