On Jan. 22, 2013 our country marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. To people of faith, 40 represents more than just a number. In the Bible it signifies a season of endurance until lessons are learned or the waiting is finally over.
For example, while Noah sheltered in the ark, rains pounded the earth for 40 days and 40 nights. The Israelites wandered 40 years in the wilderness, eating manna and coming to terms with their reliance on God. Jesus fasted 40 days in the desert, surrendering Himself to the Father while resisting the wiles of Satan. Forty, whether it is years, weeks, or days, seems such a long time when you’re waiting for relief.
After 40 years of Roe v. Wade, we long for the tug of war over the unborn to be finally settled. Knowing that 50 million lives have been lost to abortion makes the waiting feel interminable. Meanwhile, we continue to reach blindly for His grace to sustain our mission—and find it every single day. We pray that as a people we have used this season to take a hard look in the mirror and act on what we know: Life is sacred, and we must hold fast to God as Creator and sustainer.
Because at Elizabeth’s New Life Center we also are regularly reminded that the number 40 represents not just pain but promise: For at the end of 40 weeks of pregnancy comes … life.