Originally published Monday, 28 April 2014.
Excerpt from the devotional Waiting for God to Fill the Cradle
"'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11
Everyone quotes this verse. But most people don't comment on the context. The people of Israel heard these words from the Lord while they were in captivity. Their sin had opened them up for trouble and now they had been taken captive by the Babylonians (only to later have the Persians take over Babylon). It is in the middle of their captivity that the Lord speaks these hopeful words over His people. And in the very next breath God adjures His people to seek Him, promising to be found by them if only they would desire Him.
As we walk this road of not having children, our disappointments can threaten to take us captive. It can make it hard to seek the Lord if we allow our disappointment to get bigger than our God. Yet, in this verse there remains a key to unlock the chains of disappointment and disillusionment that may sometimes bind us. The key is expectation. If we are expecting God to work out His plans for a future and a hope then there isn't room in our hearts and minds for disillusionment and despair. God's good plan may or may not be to give us biological children. But I am confident that this part of my life is fully under God's control and that He had it planned from the beginning as a puzzle piece in the life of promise and hope He has called me (and you ) to.
Not having children is not a mistake. Not a failure. Not the absence of God working in our lives. It is somehow part of God's plan to give us a future and a hope. I can't say this concept always sits well with me. Worries, doubts and disappointment are a real temptation. But when I take those to God and seek Him in the midst of it all, as Jeremiah 29:12 suggests, I find the hopeful perspective that releases me from the captivity of my emotions. May you too find yourself wrapped in the hopefulness of His sovereignty as you seek His face and direction for your life.
For more encouragement on the topic of infertility, read Waiting for God to Fill the Cradle: A One Month Devotional for Couples.
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