|Just a few weeks after Heather was born. I know, I know. I promise it was decade appropriate!|
It is just fun and always a reminder that waiting, pain and suffering can produce great joy.
As the Lord would have it, I was reading in Galatians this week and I came across Galatians 4:19.
My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you.
Labor - there really isn't anything quite like it! Even when you go to those birthing classes and read books, nothing can truly prepare you for the reality of the experience. This is a picture of what it is like to invest in others in ministry.
Whether you are on a church staff, or involved in a para-church organization, a volunteer, a parent, a neighbor, teacher, friend or co-worker -- if you are a believer, you are in labor until Christ is formed in those the Lord has given you. Sometimes that labor comes hard and fast, but more often, it is slow and a bit painful. There are also cases where all that labor ends in devastation. That is a part of that ministry experience as well.
We labor in time, prayer, teaching, grace, mercy, pain, heartache and suffering. Labor is hard - but it is worth it. Having spiritual children is both a hardship and a huge JOY. I wouldn't trade my labor over so many kids over the years for anything. Many of them are walking with the Lord today and then there are quite a number who are struggling, still. I love them all just the same and continue to labor in prayer over those who are still wandering away from the Lord.
The Lord labors over us as His children, and in turn, He asks us to labor over the flock He has given us until Christ is formed in them.
Now that is a labor of love.