I snuck into the bathroom as though my presence might scare off the dream. There it sat on the counter, the thin piece of pink and white plastic that had let me down month after month. It took only the quickest glance to recognize the stark white disappointment of another negative result. It’s been one year, one miscarriage and one chemical pregnancy, and for each of those clusters of days in between it’s been hopes, dreams, prayers, disappointment, and quite a bit of waiting, begging and badgering God.
I’m 39 and trying to get pregnant – not because I ever thought I would want three children (for years my own two were more than I could handle), but because in a moment God shifted the landscape of my heart and gave me a desire so unexpected and great my family thought it was a mid-life crisis. As it turns out, people have a lot of opinions when you’re older and you’re trying to have a baby. (Well, let’s be real: people have a lot of opinions when you live life in the open and you share your story along the way.) Regarding having a baby, however, I’ve been told I’ve missed my chance, that the miscarriage was my one shot, that maybe I confused the prompting I received from God, maybe it’s time to consider adoption, maybe I got the wires crossed and this whole desire was wholly of me and God had nothing to do with it, and maybe me not getting pregnant is a “sign.” A sign of what? That God doesn’t want to give me the desires of my heart?
Don’t get me wrong: I’ve wondered each of these things. I’ve wondered through tears and through yelling and through frustration and through pretty much wanting to smack people in the face. #truestory #nojudgement
Mostly, I’ve wondered if I should keep going. It’s a question I’ve posed to God throughout our daily conversations. Sometimes I have that sweet voice of a child asking for a cookie, and sometimes I’ve been so ugly I bet God would rather hide in a locked room eating dark chocolate than deal with me. (I can’t be the only person who has done this…) And yet no matter my stages and my phases and my tempers, I have this undercurrent of hope that shimmies through even my sadness, and it comes from the promises I’ve found in Scripture.
There are literally thousands of promises in the Bible, so for the sake of time, let’s just look at the one that has spoken loud and clear to me: Hebrews 10:36.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
Before we delve into the Scripture itself, let me give you a quick backstory of Hebrews 10. The Christians at that time were enduring great conflict, and they were beginning to grow lukewarm in their faith. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows and promises from Jesus. It was nitty gritty life, and they were struggling. (Can you relate?) These Christians once had joy because their focus was heavenward and not bound up in earthly desires, possessions, and idols; but now their joy had run dry, and the author of Hebrews is writing to encourage them to keep their focus.
We could all use a little encouragement, right? Whatever your wait is, whatever God has called you to persevere through, I pray this verse helps provide some perspective on the goodness of God and the sanctity of His promises.
I’ve broken the verse down into three parts:
- You need to persevere. Persevere here means endurance, steadfastness, patiently waiting. I don’t know about you but I hate the word patient. I’m not patient enough to wait three minutes for a pregnancy test to taunt me with my future, and I’m not patient enough to pump gas, so waiting on God is like waiting to age backwards: it feels impossible. While it might feel impossible, it’s also the first step to getting the promise God has pressed into us. The Lord tells the prophet Habbakuk this: “though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and not delay (2:3b)” So, friends, you just gotta wait for it.
- You need to do the will of God. The “will” used in this verse is the same “will” used in the Lord’s prayer (Matt. 6:9-13): your will be done. Most of the time in the New Testament the word “will” is used by Jesus referring to the will of His father, but so many of us get stuck wondering how can we know the will of God. I propose it’s simpler than you might think: through prayer. Why else would God’s will be so integral to the simple prayer we’ve each been taught as little children?
- You will receive what He has promised. The word for promise here is actually a legal term that refers officially to a sanctioned promise, and almost every New Testament use of this word points back to a promise in the Old Testament. I love that! I love how God is so true to His word and that He is true to each and every detail.
The promise here is two-fold. 1 Peter 1:9 tell us the promise is the salvation of our souls. As Christians, that’s the true promise we hold onto, but what about our life here? It’s hard to always be heaven-focused when you have flesh and blood dreams and disappointments here on this parched earth. Right?
I believe God gives us promises here, whispered into our heart and our spirit through faith. I believe this is why I’m on a path that many would consider insane, and it’s why I won’t give up: because I have faith in the promise God whispered to me, and I believe while it’s an earthly promise, it has kingdom value. Hebrews 6 tells us of the certainty of God’s promise for Abraham. You might remember that God promised Abraham he would have many descendants and be blessed. God didn’t tell him it would take another twenty-five years of infertility before Abraham received what was promised.
God’s promise to Abraham was an earthly promise with kingdom value, and that kingdom value circles back to Christ and our salvation through Him.
You have an earthly purpose with kingdom value too, my friend!
The promises we are given on this earth are linked directly to the promises God has ordained in heaven for us. If that doesn’t get you excited enough to fuel you through some of your waiting, I don’t know what will!
So pray for it, friends. Then wait for it. That promise will come.
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