A reader wrote me a long email recently detailing her infertility history and describing the fork in the road that she and her husband have reached. And then, she put a question to me: “Would you mind me asking what you would do?”
I told her that I sympathized with her desire to have someone tell her “the answer,” but that I would not presume to step in between her and God – or to play God by saying I know the right answer for her and her particular circumstances.
I’m sure that wasn’t the response she was hoping for. And in some ways, I wish I could have said something different. But, this is her journey. God has a purpose in it — something He intends to birth into her life — and He hasn’t directed me to do anything more than help her see and understand that.
I was able to offer her one valuable piece of advice, though. Do you want to hear it, too? “Be still and know that I am God.” Is that too simple to be useful? Not if you dig deep into the powerful promise the verse contains.
“Be still…” means: recognize that it is human nature to let stress cause you to go a million miles an hour, both physically and deep in your spirit, and that is not a good thing. Without intending to, you’ve probably allowed infertility to become a frantic race to the finish line – a finish line that seems to keep moving further and further into the distance. Will you ever reach it?! Rather than responding with desperation and redoubling your effort to get there faster – only to find yourself increasingly exhausted – this verse says, slow down enough to recognize that faster isn’t always better.
There are so many reasons God could be delaying you and extending your journey. Are you willing to trust that they are good reasons? Whether they have to do with your health or the health of your baby, with your circumstances or the demands on you, with the path that will ultimately take you where you want to go, or simply the timing of getting there… embrace the perspective that the best outcome may not be reached by the shortest route.
You can be confident that there is a purpose for this journey that extends beyond reaching the destination. God has allowed disappointments, losses and grief to come into your life as part of this purpose-full journey. Why? What has it shown you – about yourself, your spouse, your priorities, and your commitment to this goal? Has it shown you anything about God? It takes periods of quiet solitude to separate the tornado of emotions about what’s happening from the calm, constant Truth. So, slow down. Be still. Quiet your thoughts enough to listen.
And what will happen?
This verse says, “… and know that I am God.” If you choose to redirect your thoughts – away from your frustrations and impatience, toward the true source of peace – you will be able to return to the knowledge that God is who scripture says He is. He is constant, even when your circumstances are wildly fluctuating. He is in control, even when your thoughts and emotions are careening out of control. He is with you, even when you feel devastatingly lost and alone. He knows every detail of your story, and He walks with you every minute of this journey.
“… and know…” means: move past feelings and Self-pitying thoughts to the truth that does not change. Know it with conviction. Know it with certainty. Know it with confident hope. “… know that I am God.” The only One with control over your circumstances and the outcome of your journey has not ceased to be who He is. Your faithful, loving Father has not abandoned or forgotten you. He never will.
Be still and know.