My son was born last week. Jude Owen Sanders. Our 6th child. We went for a scheduled induction on Tuesday afternoon (My wife is considered high risk because of blood pressure issues.) What we thought would take 12 or so hours ended up taking 4 days and included complications, miscommunication between doctors, and little to no sleep. In a word: testing. Writing prayers has always helped me focus. I was able to write a prayer in the midst of all of this. May it encourage your soul to pray the midst of difficulty, asking for grace to see God’s grace in all things.
Lord, we are waiting. At times we are patient, which is a testimony to your grace at work in us. Other times we are discouraged, impatient, tired, and overwhelmed, which is evidence that there is still so much work to be done in us.
In all of this, you have reminded us that you are sovereign. Our hearts have planned a course, but you are the one who establishes our steps. Awaiting the birth of our son has served as an avenue to reflect on your goodness and grace in so many ways.
A Picture of Provision- How blessed are we to have a quiver full of children! They are a heritage from you. You have provided in abundance! This is not because we deserve such rewards, but because you are a gracious and giving God who showers blessing upon your people.
A Picture of Friends & Family- Every birth has highlighted the abundance of godly, caring, selfless people who watch our kids, provide meals, pray, sit with us, encourage, celebrate, and more. And O how beautiful is birth to highlight the spiritual aspect of your family- the church! We have been born again into your family. We have been adopted as your sons and daughters and we have gained eternal brothers and sisters! What a privilege. What would we do without them?
A Picture of the New Birth- As we await the birth of Jude, I am reminded of the slow, mysterious work of regeneration. I am brought back again to my new birth and I’m led to worship. I am encouraged by these reflections to be patient in my longings to see others born again to a living hope. As you bring new physical life into the world though this slow, beautiful, messy, painful process, so you also awaken sinners to the gospel through the word. And while I am allowed the grace to participate, the decisive work is yours.
A Picture of Sanctification- I long for the birth of my son, Jude. Such longing has at times morphed from a good desire to an impatient demand. Forgive me, Lord. I am a product of my culture. I want things my way and on my timeline. Thank you for lovingly blowing up my plans to teach me to rely on you.
Likewise, I long for Christian maturity. I long to grow in holiness. But too often I look for shortcuts. I try to bypass patiently waiting and placing myself under the ordinary means of grace. You have ordained a spiritual gestation process that cannot be undermined. This is good and right. Help me, Lord, to submit to you.
O Great God, the grace and mercy from your hand is of an endless supply. All because of Jesus- in Him I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, and an overabundance of temporal blessings too. Lord, thank you for my son. Thank you for your provision. Thank you for family and friends. Thank you for Regeneration. Thank you for Sanctification.
In the abundant, life-giving name of Christ I pray. Amen.