A year ago we cried together over the pain of our infertility journeys. Today, I took her a meal and watched as she tenderly held the sweet bundle of love in her arms. I’m so grateful God answered her prayers and blessed her with a child. It’s harder to say that I’m grateful for the way He has answered my prayers. As I climbed into the car to drive home, I knew I had to choose where to place my focus: empty arms or full heart.
Contrary to the false gospel preached by many, God’s ultimate purpose is not to facilitate my happiness this side of heaven. There will be plenty of that in glory. But for now, sometimes the sovereign will that determines my good and His glory includes what feels very much like suffering. It IS suffering.
When faced with the reality that God’s answers to my prayers aren’t shaping up the way I envisioned, I can choose to be flat out bitter. I could indulge in self-pity. I have lingered in those places before.
Or, I can play “The Glad Game” and try to talk myself into a better outlook by focusing on all the things I DO have. There are plenty of things I’m grateful for: a precious husband who adores me, fulfilling work, health that’s improving with each drop of essential oil, a brand spankin’ new kitchen, the privilege of NOT living in a country where Christians are being viciously persecuted at the moment …
But, even listing the blessings doesn’t get at the root
of what makes me look wistfully at what I don’t have.
The deeper issue, when I’m grappling with unfulfilled longings, goes back to Eden and the enemy that whispers lies about God in my ears. Lies like, “He’s holding out on you.” Or, “If He REALLY loved you, He would give you what you think you want.” Even, “A God who allows pain can’t be good.”
So, my real choice boils down to this:
do I believe God’s Word is true? Or, do I believe He is a liar?
I really think it’s that simple at the core. His Word tells me He loved me enough to watch His Son die on the cross covered in my sin. His Word tells me He is preparing me for a place filled with glories my human mind can’t even begin to comprehend. And, His Word tells me that ALL of the paths He marks out for His children are marked by steadfast love and faithfulness even when they are traced by the steps of bloodied feet.
Thanks for letting me share my heart about these things. It’s kind of you to care and recounting my thoughts for you helps remind me of truth too. And that fills my heart to overflowing even though my arms are empty.