Your feet shuffle to a stop. With weary eyes, you look up and ahead. The road before you splits into two distinct paths, bending off the horizon to parts unknown. Unsure where to step or how you’ll reach your destination – wherever that is – you pause and heave a sigh. After all the difficulties you’ve already endured, the roadblocks and pitfalls and endless delays, you feel too tired to make a decision. Yet the journey demands it; you must choose.
Which way should I go?
At the intersection of belief and experience, will you trust God’s goodness, or rely on the certainty of your pain?
God is good; you know this. The Bible tells you so.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1)
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” (Lamentations 3:25)
“If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (1 Peter 2:3)
Yes, yes, you tell yourself. I’m loved by a good, good Father.
But if that’s true, then why am I hurting?
Why would a loving Father give you the longing for a child but deny fulfillment? Why is he preventing your body and/or your husband’s body from doing what he designed them to do? How can he watch you suffer and refuse to rescue you from the pit?
As you lean forward and shift your weight against the walking stick, you breathe a prayer into the wind.
Lord, show me your way.
You wait and listen and look for … nothing. No dove swoops in; no voice thunders. All those days of plodding through byways choked with fog, and you’re back to the same dead end.
The well of sorrow you assumed had gone dry bubbles up, dripping tears on the sand. Hunched over, face in your palms, you look down to the ground and see … something.
It’s a cross.
These two opposing tracks – God’s goodness and your pain – converge at the death of Christ.
Because of his great love for you, God sent his holy, perfect Son to take on flesh, to suffer, die, and triumph over evil. He carried the burden no one else could bear – including the pain of your infertility and the sinful ways you’ve responded to it – and paid the price to redeem it. Through his sacrifice, you have forgiveness and fellowship, comfort and joy, a future stored in heaven and a present-day pledge of Spirit-filled life.
Jesus is the Way you asked the Lord to show you. By his wounds, you are healed once and for all. He has freed you to walk by faith in God’s everlasting goodness, not by sight in your real but temporary pain.
“... so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)
Relief floods your soul. This place you’ve found yourself in – where you’d thought the journey would finally end in defeat – suddenly seems lighter. You can inhale without feeling crushed, and exhale peace with blazing confidence.
Thank you, Jesus.
In the midst of suffering the ache for a child, you can stand firm in God’s goodness because Jesus is with you. You can cry out to him. Press into his sword-pierced side. Follow his lead through the valley of shadows. Remember the lengths he went to save you – while you were his enemy – and declare unto him the truth you know.
God is good! I’ve tasted his goodness in the land of the living! Surely his goodness will follow me all the days of my life – even the days I can’t see it.
Blessed assurance jolts through your veins, urging you to take a step forward onto the right path.
You understand now that waiting doesn’t stop you from moving. As you wait, you walk sure-footed, trusting the One who secured your hope forever.
Jenn Hesse is a writer/content developer at Waiting in Hope Ministries and leads a local infertility and infant loss support group called Graceful Wait, in the Northwest. She and has a passion for equipping women to know Christ through His Word. When she’s not teasing her husband or chasing after her two sons, she writes at her blog, www.jenhesse.com.