6 In that day, says the Lord, I will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away, and those whom I have afflicted. 7 The lame I will make the remnant, and those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion now and forevermore. 8 And you, O tower of the flock, hill of daughter Zion, to you it shall come, the former dominion shall come, the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem. 9 Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in you? Has your counselor perished, that pangs have seized you like a woman in labor? 10 Writhe and groan, O daughter Zion, like a woman in labor; for now you shall go forth from the city and camp in the open country; you shall go to Babylon. There you shall be rescued, there the Lord will redeem you from the hands of your enemies. 11 Now many nations are assembled against you, saying, “Let her be profaned, and let our eyes gaze upon Zion.” 12 But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor. 13 Arise and thresh, O daughter Zion, for I will make your horn iron and your hoofs bronze; you shall beat in pieces many peoples, and shall devote their gain to the Lord, their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth.
Labor and birth are not only for women. Certainly women labor and birth children. But we all conceive, nurture, labor through and birth ideas and projects all the time. The question that arises for me really is this: who is in control?
Is this a message planted in me by God?
How do I know this? I share my thoughts with trusted members of my community who pray with me and wait for an answer, the advent kind of waiting. We wait expectantly that if God is doing something new, there will be progress toward birth.
These trusted ones are the midwives (and midhusbands) who nurture me and guide me by sharing experience, knowledge, wisdom, and love. And it this message is God-ordained it will come to life in God’s time.
And if they are God-ordained, I expect there will be labor: hard work, some pain and struggle. But the hope that rises inside is one that leads to joy. Because in expectant labor, there is a birth on the horizon.
So as you encounter new messages during this advent season, I pray you will share them with your community to see which ones are God-ordained and will lead toward a new birth for the glory of God in Jesus Christ.
Waiting with expectancy,