Despite Your Circumstances…Rest In His Plan
January 29, 2016
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.‘” (Jeremiah 29:11)
One pink line. My heart sank. If I had things my way, this month would be different. Different in that two pink lines would have shown on my pregnancy test. This month we did it all “right.” Tests, blood work, sonograms- all checked off as perfect on paper. However, at the end of the day we didn’t get the results we were praying for. I wonder how the many women in the Bible felt when year after year, each month they dealt with the news that they weren’t pregnant. They didn’t have any fancy devices like we do to show us results, but I’m sure the range of emotions were just the same as the feelings many women feel when they’re faced with infertility.
Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Elkanah and Hannah are a few of the couples in the Bible that dealt with infertility. I was truly amazed when I discovered how many accounts there are, but also very encouraged that God had a plan for each of them. Let’s look at each couple a little more in depth.
Sarah laughed at the idea that God would bless them with a son at her old age. But in Genesis 21 it begins with, “Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised.” Not only did she and Abraham bear a child at their ripe old age (Abraham was 100!), but God promised that she would be the mother of nations; kings of people would come from her! (Genesis 17:16) Through Isaac, God fulfilled His promise more than what she could have ever imagined…the King of kings, our Lord Jesus Christ, came through this lineage!
Rebekah had endured 20 years of being barren. WOW! Can you imagine…20 years? I know I would have crossed bearing a child off my list by then! However, her husband, Isaac, prayed on behalf of his wife; the Lord answered his prayer and Rebekah became pregnant with twins! (Genesis 25:21)
The Lord had closed Hannah’s womb and her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, taunted her with her inability to have a child. In 1 Samuel 1, we learn that whenever Hannah would go up to the house of the Lord, her rival (Peninnah) would provoke her until she wept and would not eat. One day “in bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord” (1 Sam 1:11) She vowed to Him that if he would bless her with a son, she would give him back to the Lord for His use! The Lord heard Hannah’s cry and blessed her with Samuel, who became the last and greatest judge of Israel.
Wow! Such great promises from God packed in the lives of just three couples. I know that there are moments when my husband and I struggle with contentment in the “lot” God has given to us. The struggle deepens when it seems all of our friends are pregnant or have children. It is our selfishness that gets wrapped up in what we desire and tries to control the timing of that desire. Reading over these accounts doesn’t make the hurt or emotions go away, but it does help me to focus on the bigger picture: the assurance that we can rest in His plan. God has His perfect timing for us, even when we are facing infertility or the desire to add to our family. There is no doubt – He cares for us and loves us.
Do you believe Jeremiah 29:11?