“Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb.”
It’s interesting as we read through the story of Scripture, it is not uncommon to see a picture of barrenness in key women, particularly here in the story of Genesis. Rachel is one, Rebekah before her, Sarah before her struggling to bear a child. Specifically to bear a son, and God over and over and over again takes this picture of barrenness and turns it into a picture of blessing.
Let us pray in a multitude of ways that God will take barrenness and turn it into blessing.
Now, that’s not to say that everyone in the Bible and everyone who trusts in God, every couple, every woman who is barren is guaranteed to have a child. That’s certainly not a promise we have in the Bible, but we do have a picture of those who are barren looking to God, crying out to God, and God answering in many different, powerful ways. I think about the story in my own marriage as my wife Heather and I longed for five years to have children, and month after month and year after year, praying for God to open Heather’s womb, and month after month and year after year God not answering in the way we hoped.
Then, after leading down leading us down a path of adoption, and adopting our first son from Kazakhstan, Caleb, then we got back and in a way we never could have expected, God opened Heather’s womb, and we had a second son, Joshua. I don’t understand. We don’t understand. How? Why? For five years nothing happened, and then all of a sudden she’s able to have a son. And then similarly for the next three years, barrenness physically. We knew we wanted to adopt again. We adopted our daughter from China, and her name is Mara, and then three months later Heather was pregnant, and we had our fourth child, a third son.
That’s not to say that that story will play out that way in other’s lives. I know different stories, different brothers and sisters who have gone through all kinds of challenges, all kinds of struggles. Some have seen God open the womb. Some have not. Some God has led down a path of adoption and blessing in that way. Some God has led in other ways, but to see His blessing in all those stories, not always in the ways we long for, we hope for in the moment, but to trust, to trust that one, God is able to open the womb, and so to pray for that, to honestly pray for that. At the same time, just like we’ve talked about in praying for healing, to trust that if God doesn’t open the womb, that God has good purposes He’s accomplishing, and He can be trusted, and He is all wise, and He is all good.
So God, I pray. I pray especially, we pray together especially right now for those who are struggling with barrenness. I just think about brothers and sisters I know, and that the church that I have the privilege of pastoring. I think about friends who are walking through that struggle right now. God, please, please, please, show your grace. Show your mercy. Show your power. God, please, we would ask those who are desiring to have children, God, that you would provide. Please, oh God, provide. Provide biologically. Provide through adoption. Provide through foster care. Provide in all kinds of different ways.
Then at the same time, even as we’re asking for your provision, God I think about the picture of a spiritual heritage that is better than sons and daughters, better than sons and daughters. God, I pray for single brothers and sisters. I pray for couples, for wives who continue to be unable to have children biologically. God, I pray that you would give them spiritual heritage that is better than sons and daughters, and people who know you, sons and daughters of you, as a result of their lives. God, we pray. We pray in all kinds of different ways that you would take barrenness and turn it into blessing. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
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