Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

What Do You Do With Barrenness?

I’m reading one of John Piper‘s books at present:  ‘A Sweet and Bitter Providence’, which is an exegesis on the book of Ruth in the Bible.  This isn’t a book review, so I’m not going to talk very much about the book, although it’s certainly a excellent one which will bless you.

The book of Ruth is partially about God’s sovereignty in trouble.  As Pastor John writes: ‘the life of the godly is not a straight line to glory, but they do get there – God sees to it.  And God is at work in the darkest of your times to get you there.’

For some of us, ‘the darkest of times’ may be the fact that we are unable to have children.  Maybe there is a medical reason why you and your husband can’t conceive….  Maybe you’re not yet married and are all too aware of that tick, tick, tick of your body clock….  Maybe you’ve lost a little one and are afraid to try again or have been medically advised against it….

May I gently say that God is still sovereign?  He is the one who knitted you together in your mother’s womb while lovingly planning out your days.  God is never taken by surprise.  He knows your circumstances and He alone perfectly understands.  When things have been at their absolute worst in my life, the fact that God has allowed the thing to happen and is still in control have been my greatest comfort.  The time when my boyfriend of nearly two years decided to end our relationship, when my dad died, when Adrian and I were told by doctors that we would never have children, when I conceived twins by IVF only to lose them, when I unexpectedly became ill resulting in the loss of my job, my independence, and (at times) my dignity.

Nothing we give to God is ever wasted.  Why don’t you give your barrenness, your hopes and dreams, to Him?  The Bible promises that we will experience fullness of joy as we walk with God.  There are no other conditions.  Trusting God equals fullness of joy.

Jesus is the only One who makes us whole, who completes us.  And He is the great healer who promises to mend broken hearts and give new hope for shattered dreams.

If you’re struggling in this area, I would love to pray for you.  Get in touch and, together, let’s see what wonderful things God will do for you and with you.

2 Comments

  1. Neil

    14/09/2011 at 3:13 pm

    It’s a sensitive subject to be sure, but the short answer is ‘yes, definitely’!

  2. Rachel

    14/09/2011 at 9:32 pm

    Great article, sounds very familiar.

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