I'm reaching the one-month mark of paying proper attention to my blog. We’re making progress! I hope to remain as blog-dedicated when the writing process takes shape again, but time will tell. For those who wonder, I’ve got ideas marinating inside for a fourth novel and really want to get preparation work and early pounding on the first draft this year. Meanwhile, I’ve put more of a spiritual focus on my blog these days.
Have you noticed how much we forget as time passes? We allow too much time to pass before talking to a friend. Someone makes us a promise, but forgets to keep it. Or my original intent to blog every two weeks, which fell by the wayside when things got busy.
We didn’t intend to forget. It just happened.
We’ve all been treated that way. And if we’re honest, we’d admit we’ve treated others that way, too. And if being forgotten touches a deep area in our lives, it can hurt—a lot.
Or sometimes it’s not a broken promise. Sometimes life just isn’t fair. How often do we think of someone and say, “He is one of the kindest, most faithful people I know. If anyone deserves good things in their life, it’s him. So why is he the first to be downsized or the last to be picked?”
That’s when God’s faithfulness shines through for me. One thing that fascinates me about God is that He notices us. When no one else sees us, He does.
Two Bible verses touch me every time I read them:
“Then the LORD took note of Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had promised”
“Then God remembered Rachel, and God gave heed to her and opened her womb”
I never look those verses up just to read them. I tend to forget about them until I’m reading the chapter. For anyone not familiar with the Bible, Sarah and Rachel each had been married for many years. Each had watched others discover the joy of giving birth and raising children.
But Sarah and Rachel were both barren.
Until God remembered them.
Actually, God never forgets. He always notices us, always remembers us. According to Isaiah 49:16, God inscribed His kids’ pictures on the palms of His hands. (Yep, God has tattoos!)
God just has broader timing than we do. And that was the case with Sarah and Rachel. As you read about them, you can see their heartache. They probably reached points in their lives when they doubted they would ever see their dreams of motherhood fulfilled. But eventually, their barrenness ended. They became pregnant.
You might be thinking it’s odd for a guy to relate to barren women. But I relate to delays in their dreams—that feeling of wanting to be farther along your personal path than you are. In other words, you hold a dream on the inside, but it hasn’t yet been born.
Some of you reading this probably feel the same way right now.
Barrenness feels empty. Barrenness feels empty. Barrenness often means holding a lot of heartache inside, because it doesn’t look like people around you would understand—either because their life’s path looks stellar, or because they don’t care enough to dream in the first place.
But for you, there’s no escape. There’s a God-given sense inside you that He has a plan for your life, a destiny. So you can’t turn your back on it. But that means going through barren seasons (or years!) along the way.
The barrenness has an end point, though.
“’Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child…for the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous than the sons of the married woman,’ says the LORD. ‘Enlarge the place of your tent…lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left’”
I soaked in that passage countless times back when I did computer programming. I spent a year reading that passage, the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-47, and Hebrews 11. I read them almost exclusively for about a year, over and over and over again, building up faith and encouragement from them. And to this day, I still cling to those verses because dreams always seem to have a next phase.
You might feel barren, but God hasn’t forgotten you. God takes notice.
And sometimes, we don’t have the ability to make our own dreams come true—hence the long waits—but God will put people in your life. We can help make their dreams come true while we’re waiting for ours. So if we’re waiting, it’s a great time to sow seed into the dreams of someone else—to let them know they’re not forgotten.
The best things in life, those with true substance, seem to involve the hardest-fought battles and the longest waits. But keep pressing on with those genuine heart desires until God brings them to pass.
Today’s playlist: 21 by Adele