Genesis 15:1-3 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless,” But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”
Barren women actively trying to conceive often spend two weeks of every single menstrual cycle pregnant with only the hope of being with child. We love our Baby Hope and fight for that child with everything we’ve got within us. For many of us, month after month, for years on end, Aunt Flo then comes and “kills” the child we’d hoped we were carrying in our wombs. Our pain is one I hope you never know. We often have to take breaks, and some quietly throw in the towel, let our Baby Hope slowly die in our heart, too.
This is where I think Sarah/Sarai and her husband were when God came to him with such a bold, exceedingly great promise. More than a decade would pass after its giving before its fulfillment, and in that time they’d again struggle to keep the faith and to not give up on God doing it. While I’ve never sank to handling it on the Ishmael level of awful, like Sarah and her husband, I’ve tasted that sting of death, only for the Lord to come (in the spirit) and gently revive me, reminding me of his promises, and strengthening me to carry on.
God will bless us. I don’t know how, and I don’t know when, but he will do it. In the meantime, we will seek to keep walking by faith.
That said, please never say “all in God’s time,” and the like to an infertile couple in response to their grief for never-were children. That attempt to comfort can come across as akin to telling a parent grieving the death of a child that did get to be born not to grieve because God perfectly timed their child’s death and they need to trust it was God’s perfect will for their child to die. (For those unaware of this, that is cruel and can sour weak believers on God.) To worsen the pain of that slap in the face for grieving for never-were children, infertile couples are also being offered no hope of a Heavenly reunion with the never-were babies infertility’s stolen.
Infertility is a disease, an effect of the fall, and no more God’s fault than it is God’s fault someone else is battling cancer. He does have the sovereign power to supernaturally override such effects of the fall in our lives. Sometimes God chooses instead to walk us through the brokenness of this world. Sometimes that is only for a season, a new season comes, and we do get our miracle.
Nonetheless, we need to grieve our losses; I learned that in another difficult season that had me on the verge of becoming an atheist. I prayed angry, heartbroken, etc. and gave God the broken pieces. He doesn’t always work things out the way we want, but he does always restore us and make something beautiful out of the broken pieces.
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” — 1 Corinthians 15:55-57