Have you ever been in a season where the lesson God is teaching you is hurtful? Maybe a period of time that was unexpected, unwanted, and one for which you did not volunteer? Maybe it is divorce, infertility, unemployment, or singleness? Others might be dealing with patience, stillness, or forgiveness. Currently, mine is singleness. I am 36 years old, I desire to marry, and 98% of my closest friends are married with kids. I did not volunteer for this experience or lesson. In my own fleshly desire I would rather not have to go through this . . . but God. Stop and listen to those words again: but God.
Biblical Example: Elizabeth.
In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord. But they had no child because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years. Luke 1:5-7
After reading a little further we find out that Elizabeth gives birth to a baby boy, and she names him John. Before moving on, have you thought about her as a human in that season prior to conceiving and delivering this baby? She was advanced in years so her barren season was a long one. LONG one . . . years and years.
How long have you been waiting?
She and her husband were righteous in God’s sight and walked blameless before the Lord. I do not know about you, but there have been times I felt I should have been blessed with something I desired because I was a good girl! God could strike me dead for that pride, but oh how He loves you and me. It is written that Elizabeth did everything right and still wasn’t blessed with a child…yet. YET! Do you know why? Because God had a plan! Let me say it again, GOD HAS A PLAN! This child, John the Baptist, would play a significant role.
“This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ ” Matthew 11:10.
Why so long?
God does not withhold blessings because of our age. He also does not give us blessings because of our own merit. We are filthy sinners and only by the grace of God does He lead us into and out of these seasons. Here it is again for emphasis. God does not bless us because of what we have done. He has a plan! What a God that He used Elizabeth’s season to ultimately provide the person that would prepare the way for Jesus. Any other way and it would not have been amazing and an “only God” type of situation.
Those long years had to hurt. The thoughts and opinions of others had to be overwhelming at times. She must have battled the feelings of being less than adequate or not good enough. I know I have. When I honestly think about this time in my life, I see what God is teaching me. He is teaching me who He is as my Provider and Shepherd (Psalm 23) and that I am SEEN in my circumstance by the God who created me. God had a plan for Elizabeth, and He has a plan for you!
When love hurts.
These times can hurt and seem to last forever. God knows that. He experienced and chose a love that hurt when He gave the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for my sins and yours. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” We can trust that God knows, sees us, and loves us during this time and all the time.
About the Writer:
Jourdan has been a member of First Baptist Dallas for 11 years and sings in the Celebration Choir. She works as a full-time physical therapist and has a heart for medical missions. She loves encouraging others in the Lord and smiling.