A 400-Year Gestation

Once upon a time in Arkansas, a kindergarten teacher needed twenty minutes. The attendance office called me out of the behavioral management class – where I was the assistant’s substitute that day –  to relieve that kindergarten teacher.

The tiny kindergartners held small scissors and gripped Elmer’s glue bottles.

I was terrified.

Questions came at me like showers of unwanted, multi-colored glitter and the children would not sit down. Glue oozed onto tabletops and paper trimmings covered the carpet. They refused to be seated. They refused to be silent. They refused to be on task.

The teacher returned and I escaped to the behavioral management class.

Sometimes, teaching seniors is like teaching kindergartners. They refuse to be seated. They refuse to be silent. They refuse to be on task.

“It’s like the Benjamin Button phenomenon,” I tell them. The few who understand the allusion laugh obligingly. The others stay fixated on those school-issued iPads.

Seniors are DONE from day one. And I’ll admit, now that I am pregnant and dreaming of graduate school, I, too, combat senioritis.

On days when enough sleep is not enough, the commute is rough, the students bless me with migraines, and my own lessons bore me, Abigail kicks within the womb. She’s always busy rolling this way and that way, and one day it reminded me of God’s presence. He’s always within me, moving and remaking me.

It is a comfort to know I am not alone.

Then, today, I read:

“Therefore Israel will be abandoned
    until the time when she who is in labor bears a son” (Micah 5:3).

It blew my mind.

Life is full of gestational seasons. Sounds gross, but often we wait days, weeks, months, or years for God’s revelation. We sense movement, we sense growth, and we are comforted, but anxious for new life to spring forth.

Sometimes, God remains still. No sense of movement, no sense of growth. The silence is mysterious and terrifying. We ask, “What are you up to, God?” Or, we do not ask because we are so distant.

It is a dreadful experience.

Israel, who refused communion with God, waited 400 years to feel the kicks and rolls of Christ in the womb.

A 400-year gestational season. Can you imagine?

Photo Credit: Michael Reavis Photography

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