Expect great things from God in the city; attempt great things for God in the city.
Today the office was a-chatter with a news that could not be contained: One of my fellow interns, Angela, is expecting her third child to be born at any moment. As we have watched her belly grow with the new life that is inside of her, our collective anticipation has multiplied. We look forward to the time in just a few months when her newborn will be part of the life of our office, and we cannot help but speak of him. Angela’s agony, though, grows with her belly; she moans that it would have been better if he were born early.
This past weekend I stood among a large group of women who heard Pastor Sharon Kelly of Wave Church, Virginia Beach, speak about stretch marks of the soul. She shared that sometimes, like the Shunammite woman in II Kings 4:8-37, we look upon the promises of God and wonder if they are dead. Even after God makes the impossible possible, we mourn that reality does not match up to our expectations. Yet God faithfully turned the Shunammite woman’s situation around, breathing new life into and rescuing the son she had long waited for only to watch him die.
My internship–nine months in duration–is often compared to a pregnancy. Interns choose to forgo many familiar comforts, leaving behind family and friends as well as drinking and dating for a time in order to intensively nurture an interest in cross-cultural missions. We exercise discipline and creativity as we make room for another life that is growing inside of us: a love for people who don’t look like us, and a zealous commitment to learn to 1) love what they love, and 2) share with them about what we love, most especially Jesus. This process stretches us immensely; it is bound to mark us. Yet everyone who has gone before us promises: Once you see the baby, everything is worth it.