40 weeks. It's a journey of constant changes as the baby and I both prepare for labour, birth, and bonding. A friend recently wrote about how God designed us for this and He gives us the strength we need. How true that is!
But something else struck me when I read that. I came back to the number 40. This is my third pregnancy, so I'm well aware of the 40 weeks of pregnancy (give or take some). This time, though, it suddenly hit me that the number 40 isn't just some arbitrary number, spiritually speaking. I look at the Bible, and I see that number 40 repeated over and over. The 40 days of the flood, the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, the 40 days of fasting and temptation in the desert.
Notice a similarity? All of these are times of great trial, and a great spiritual and physical journey. I imagine that in the midst of the 40, things were rough, full of difficulty and doubt. That could easily describe pregnancy, too, with the accompanying morning sickness, round ligament pain, heartburn, kicks, etc. I also imagine there were joys in there, too, as God provided and comforted in the midst of pain and doubt, just as there are many joys in the midst of the discomforts of pregnancy.
These journeys aren't for naught, though. At the end of the flood, there is a promise; at the end of the 40 years in the wilderness, there is the Promised Land; at the end of the fasting and temptation there is the message of the New Covenant. And at the end of the 40 weeks, there is also a promise: a child leaving the womb on his own journey earthside and the joy of motherhood. It's a journey, both physical and spiritual, preparing us for the next journey. Now that I see that number 40 differently, it amazes me even more how God designs us for this. Here's hoping I remember this for the rest of my 40 weeks. To the journey.