Mary heavy with child and the strain of labour.
Feeling it in every fibre of her being.
Preparing herself to birth our Saviour.
Carrying a weight of wonder in mind and body.
Caught up in a purpose beyond herself, stretching into the reaches of heaven and eternity.
Pregnant with possibility. Potential. Plans beyond her knowing.
Given tiny glimpses into this infant's future.
Quietly relying on God's light revealing The Way.
Aware of her frail humanity. A woman's body tearing with the heat of it.
Labouring in a fallen world's curse of pain, of blood, sweat and tears.
Her body writhing as each spasm shoots flames of fire. Every sense heightened, more alive than ever before.
This baby, born to live unlike any other, being birthed in hardship and distress, struggle and duress much as any other.
No fancy room. No royal crib fit for this King of kings. Only a humble manger to lay Him in.
Just a bare stable. Hay to catch the blood and mucus. Snuffle and odour of animals close by.
Here she labours on in the messy marvel of impending motherhood.
Awed by the dawning realisation of responsibility.
Deeply humbled. Deeply grateful to be part of God's unfolding plans.
Leaning heavy on her husband, tightly gripping his reassuringly strong carpenter's fingers.
Gasping for breath as Holy Spirit breaths life for the Christ-child to come.
The pain and strain would soon be over.
This child was due. He would come soon.
No more pointing fingers. No more accusations for Joseph to bear. No more life as they know it now.
All things would change.
Mary sighed. She was embracing the new while feeling uncertain about the future.
Who knew what might lay ahead?
What depths her soul might dip to, what heights her emotions would scale.
But one thing she knew...God brought her to this point and He would see her through.
She rested as the contractions eased, stroked her tightly swollen abdomen and smiled.
Maybe you and I have something big to birth ~ big dreams and schemes ready to take wings, hope rising in our souls.
Maybe God is singling you out for a future that looks fearsome from where you're standing.
Maybe you yearn to be delivered of a God-given dream, but the timing isn't right yet.
Each day we can awaken anew to God's purpose for our lives.
Each moment is an opportunity for His grace, for new life to be birthed from the old.
And if you don't yet know what the purpose might be?
Well, rest easy, my friend. It will come.
We cannot see what lies ahead but we can trust an unknown future to a known God.
Be reassured by His word.
Be guided, led and comforted by His continual Presence.
And know that God-given dreams don't die on The Vine.
No, they await their God-given timing. He hasn't given up on you and He never will.
God has great things He intends to do in and through you now and in the days to come.
Our task is to be aware, be ready, be willing, be faithful. Keep listening and praying.
The One who leads us to will also bring us through as circumstances shape themselves to His will and ways.