What does the Bible have to say about risk-taking and decision-making when we are called to a future we can’t seem to reach? And how does that apply to the infertility journey?
I recently re-read the story of Moses leading the newly-freed slaves out of Egypt. They reach the Red Sea. There appears to be no way forward. The Egyptian army is coming hard and fast. There is no way to turn back. And then God parts the Sea. Two walls of water arise to the left and right, and impossibly, a path appears that invites them to cross over to safety and the future God has promised.
You’ve seen the movie, right?
Now, picture yourself as one of the throng following Moses.
You’ve been anticipating joy, but then you reach what looks like an impasse. There’s no way through, your mind tells you. This is it – the end of the dream. After all I’ve come through – the suffering, the struggle to sustain hope, the longing for a future of blessing and joy – and now this. We’ll have to give up and turn back.
And then, you realize you can’t go back. This is worse than you knew. Not only is the future at risk, the present is, too. Everything’s changed. Fear floods your heart and panic rises in your chest. “Help!” your spirit cries. It looks like the beginning of The End… but then, a path appears.
Freeze that frame.
You have a choice to make.
If you choose to focus on all the ways this can turn out badly, you will give in to despair. None of your options inspires confidence: face the army, try to outrun them, walk past the walls of water. Can you handle any of these? If you focus on what could go wrong, you will feel increasingly helpless, hopeless and victimized.
Choose this response to your circumstances and you’ll be psychologically paralyzed. Rather than do anything, you will find yourself seeking people who share your perspective: “This is bad, isn’t it? It’s unfair. God is cruel. No one cares about our suffering.” You’ll spend your time and energy seeking pity, awaiting what seems inevitable. And, you’ll never see the Promise Land.
If you choose to trust only what you can see and understand, you will head for defeat. If you doubt the “impossible,” you won’t want to trust the path through the Red Sea. How long will those walls of water hold? What happens if you’re halfway across when they come crashing down? How can you be sure that’s a risk worth taking?
Your focus is maintaining the illusion of control in a scary, chaotic situation. So, your options are limited by your refusal to see beyond what you can manage. You can’t will yourself out of this situation, and you can’t change your circumstances; you can only get to the Promise Land by risking God-reliance. If it’s all about control, your only choice is how to face defeat on your own terms.
If you choose to believe that God can do anything, you will step out in faith. Your only real choice is also your best one. Why give in to despair when there is cause for hope? Why accept defeat when there is a path to victory? There’s no need to give up or turn back. God has made a way where there was no way.
If you believe that the seed of hope He planted in your heart is there to sustain you through this journey, then get a move on! Focus on the power and faithfulness of the One who is guiding your steps, who is making the impossible possible, and who already knows the outcome of this journey. If you do, His plan will be fulfilled and you will reach the Promise Land.
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Many of the couples who come to the infertility Bible study feel the Bible has nothing relevant to say to infertile couples. If you think so, I urge you to look again. Every story speaks to the need to trust God, rely on Him, and believe His promises.
If you will choose to step out in faith — focusing not on the size of your fear or the threats to your dream, but the goodness of the God who loves you — I’m convinced you will reach the future He intends for you. It’s a risk you’ll never regret.
For more inspiration and cause for hope, read Pregnant With Hope: Good News for Infertile Couples.