It happened to me again two nights ago. I was sinking into sleep when I think, honestly, that I snorted and woke myself up. 😊
But then I couldn’t get back to sleep. Instead, I lay there thinking of a picture I had seen just before bed. Happy news for someone else created in me a longing for some things I don’t have.
These are the moments that Satan loves. He uses the tender areas of my heart’s desires to create in me an unsettled feeling. The dark of the night is his perfect setting to speak words of doubt and unhappiness into my head.
I’m a captive audience at that point. The choice is mine.
Whose voice will I listen to?
So, I prayed and I thought of scripture. I eventually went to sleep. But I awoke the next morning feeling the weight of my burdens still lingering on my shoulders.
This morning I continued in a new study I just began yesterday in the book of Luke. Right away we meet the priest, Zacharias, and his wife Elizabeth. They were both righteous in the sight of God and walked in blameless obedience to God.
They were old.
They were faithful to God.
And Elizabeth was barren.
In their culture, having children was everything.
They had nothing, in a sense.
I think of Elizabeth beyond the stories we always hear and the ending that we know well.
I think of her hearing with sadness of the pregnancy of yet another friend. Of probably faking joy when deep inside she is grieving over what she doesn’t have. Of perhaps not feeling included in the years of family gatherings, celebrations, large happy holidays…
Of laying awake at night, bombarded with these realities, alone and with a broken heart.
And though we know the end of the story, that God gave her a child, she did not know that this blessing would be in her future.
“…there are those who are true servants of the Lord and yet some trial, some disappointment, that may be life-long, hangs over their lives. ‘Righteous before God’ yet ‘they had no child’. A very huge fact and a very deep sadness are pressed together.” (Dale Ralph Davis)
Do you have a barren place? An unfulfilled desire that eats away at you in the dark stillness of the night?
We all do.
What ARE we to do?
We are to live faithfully, in daily obedience to God.
We are to “Commit our way to the Lord…” (Psalm 37:5) That means to roll our burdens on the Lord’s strong shoulders. Literally, that’s what it means.
“…God does His most impressive works in a context of impossibility.” (Davis)
No BUTS…unless we say, “BUT God!!”
Will God give me what I want?
I have no idea.
The real question should be: Will I allow God to put HIS wants into my heart?
Will I want to walk with God so closely that His desires become my focus?
“God tends to begin His finest works in the face of human hopelessness and human weakness.” (Davis)
Walking faithfully with God doesn’t mean we’ll never have our barren places.
But may we, in the barren, bear the fruit that only God can produce in us, to His glory.