I think, at some point, most of us wonder about God’s plan for our lives. What’s coming? And when? If life has treated us reasonably well, it’s largely idle curiosity (“hmmm… I wonder”). But when infertility enters the story, it morphs into something more like desperation. We need to know the plan. What exactly is going on? When will this struggle be over? And, will it end the way we want?
Rather than build our confidence, the steady stream of test results only makes us more fearful and full of doubt. The more we know, the more we worry… until the anxiety level borders on panic. Why is that? Because we want to control what we can’t – and our lack of control raises frightening questions: If we’re not in control, then who is? What’s the plan? And, how can we get answers?
I got some answers this morning, in a part of the Bible I’d never read before.
This was the story line: God initiated a conversation with Gideon to outline a plan. Instead of trusting God, Gideon asked hard questions, expressed doubts, and asked for proof. Instead of getting angry and punishing or condemning Gideon, God saw past his anxiety to a heart that wanted to believe. So, He responded to Gideon’s request for a sign. Not once. Not twice. But three times. Then, Gideon stepped into the story God had outlined and fulfilled His plan.
I think that story is incredibly relevant to our infertility journeys. Here’s how:
– God is willing to speak when we’re willing to listen
– God doesn’t get angry when we speak our hearts
– God sees past anxiety to hearts that want to believe
– God responds to requests for evidence of His faithfulness
– When we step out in faith, God works through us to fulfill His plan and to give us His best
To be clear, God never gave Gideon beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt proof. He never guaranteed the outcome. If that’s what we’re waiting for, it isn’t coming. Not because God can’t, but because He won’t. That kind of response to our uncertainty leaves no room for faith.
But, God reassured and encouraged Gideon, “The Lord is with you. Go with the strength you have [and accomplish what looks impossible]… I am sending you. I will be with you. It is all right. Do not be afraid.” And, He gave Gideon three signs – three very specific encouragements – that enabled Gideon to trust Him enough to risk believing Him.
Still, Gideon had to step out in faith. Only when he believed – and acted on that belief – did God’s plan become Gideon’s reality.
The same is true for us and our infertility journey. God has a plan and a purpose. He plants a seed of hope in our hearts that makes us long for something we cannot achieve without Him. Then, He initiates a conversation – if we will listen. He sends us signs of encouragement that enable us to trust Him – if we choose to. He does not force His plan on us. If we feel anxiety, doubt or fear, He invites us to tell Him – and looks past those feelings to hearts that want to believe.
Ultimately, we have the same choice Gideon did: to step into the story, act on our belief, and work with God to bring on His very best… or to hang back in fear and doubt, refusing to trust a God who won’t guarantee the outcome up front.
The choice seems very clear to me.
Find more resources and cause for hope at PregnantWithHope.com