by Dina Sleiman
In late August and early September we'll have some fun changes going on at the Inkwell, so I'm going to wrap up my Romans 8 series today. Rather than try to cram twenty more verses into this post, I'm just going to hop through the end and focus on the elements that blessed me the most. During this series we've discussed how to move from heaviness to freedom and light. How to overcome sin not in our own strength, but through God's. How to get past religion and develop a real relationship with God. And how to look forward to an exciting future with adventurous expectation. But sometimes it takes a while to get where we're going. And to wrap this all up, we're going to talk about waiting.
18-21That's why I don't think there's any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.
Yes, life on earth can be kind of rough. That's because we live in a fallen world, and nothing was ever meant to be quite like this. The world itself is waiting. Waiting for a full restoration to God's original plan. For the glorious time ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens. We don't need to bemoan this situation. We're still children of the king. We ourselves have been restored to right relationship with God through the price that Jesus paid on the cross. So we wait joyfully, looking forward to that full release of God's kingdom.
This section particularly meant so much to me during the month I was meditating on this chapter. It seemed I had run into a delay with my writing career yet again, and I had no idea how long it might last. I was feeling the birth pangs. In fact, in the fall of 2010 God had given me a special scripture about the barren woman singing and becoming the joyful mother of many children. So I know God fully understands how it feels to be a writer. To be waiting for our "children" to be born. I'm sure this applies to any unfulfilled dream. It's okay, though, because the waiting does not diminish us. Just the opposite, we are enlarged in the waiting. Even when we don't see it. Reading that filled me with joy. I'm growing larger for Jesus. If the baby comes too soon, it might not be ready. It might not make it. By waiting, I'll be even a bigger, better vessel for pouring out his good news to the earth. And because of that, I can be joyful and expectant.
26-28Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
But praise the Lord, every detail in or lives of love for God is worked into something good!!! He is there helping us every step of the way. Clearing the path. Comforting us. Cheering, "Push, push, you can do it!" And delivering that baby safely into our arms. God has a good plan for each of our lives, and He will see it through to completion. If you have a dream to write, or go on missions, or just raise Godly children, whatever it is, the pressure is not on us to make it happen. If it's God's plan, we just do our part as faithful children, and He will take care of the rest.
I hope you enjoyed this series. I've decided to call it my freedom series. Let's all let go of the heavy load and let God do the work in us. Stay focused on Him, spend time in His presence, learn to dwell in the Holy Spirit, and let God move in your life.
What are you waiting for? How do you endure the waiting? How can you grow during this time?
Dina Sleiman writes lyrical stories that dance with light. Most of the time you will find this Virginia Beach resident reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with her husband and three children, preferably at the oceanfront. Since finishing her Professional Writing MA in 1994, she has enjoyed many opportunities to teach literature, writing, and the arts. She was the Overall Winner in the 2009 Touched by Love contest for unpublished authors. Her debut novel, Dance of the Dandelion with Whitefire Publishing, is now available at amazon and other online and ebook distributors. Her latest novel, Love in Three-Quarter Time, will be the launch title for the new Zondervan First imprint. Dina is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. She has recently become an acquisitions editor for WhiteFire as well. Join her as she discovers the unforced rhythms of grace. For more info visit her at http://dinasleiman.com/