Our little family is currently awaiting the day of our second child’s arrival. Our little girl was born at 37 weeks, which is considered full-term, but most people still call early. Based on this, I assumed the second baby would be similar. Sadly, for me, this is not the case.
All the anxiousness, anticipation, and impatience, aside, it has given me a renewed perspective on some of Jesus’s words to his disciples. In Matthew 24 his disciples ask him how they will know that he is going to return soon, what should they look for.
He says, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.”
Jesus points to wars and natural disasters as not the signs of final days but the “beginning of birth pains”.(Just as a side note, I think this should also give everyone some insight into what labor is like. God compares it to earthquakes and famines!)
He later says in the same chapter that no one knows the day nor the hour when the Son of Man will return. This is all a challenge in how we should live our lives. Don’t get to hyped up on the idea that there seems to be more wars or more floods. Like a woman who begins labor with slow contractions, she does not know if the pain means the baby will be born the next day or maybe they are Braxton-Hicks contractions and labor is not coming for another two weeks.
I lay awake at night more than I used to just thinking. It is difficult to get comfortable while 39 weeks pregnant, but one of my most frequent thoughts is “he could come at any moment”. I don’t know. I know that I am close, but I don’t know when it will happen. The baby doesn’t know when it will happen, neither do the doctors.
In Mark 13 Jesus describes this as a master leaving his house and the servants don’t know when he is coming back so they should always be ready or as he says it “stay awake.”
So what? What is the point? Be ready, dear heart. Be ready because you don’t know when Jesus is going to return.
We’ve seen signs of the beginning of labor for thousands of years, so we could choose to discount such a statement. Don’t do that. It is not enough to know that he is coming back or believe that Jesus is coming back. Just as it is not enough for me to know that my baby is coming. I need to get ready, to prepare myself.
How do you get ready for the coming of the Creator of the Universe? Jesus said this, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”(Matthew 4:17)