Thursday, February 11, 2016

Rejoicing with Habakkuk

Suffering is part of life. No one in this life is immune, and at some point we all will suffer. Jesus promised that "in this world, you will have trouble." {John 16:33}

It looks different for everyone, but we can't escape it. Natural disaster, sickness, financial difficulty, broken relationships, death. And we are all left with hard questions. Whether we question the existence of a good and loving God or wonder why He wouldn't intervene, even the most faithful believer is often left with the ringing questions of "why?" or "how long?"

In the days of our infertility and miscarriage suffering, I have asked these questions almost daily. Why can't we have genetic children? Why do You continue to say "no," Lord? Why did our transfers fail? Why did You take my babies? How long will I have to endure this pain? How long before I can hold my baby in my arms?

Even now, as we are preparing for another transfer, praying expectantly that the Lord will allow us to meet and parent our little ones, these questions are still at the back of my mind. Will this transfer work? Will I have to endure even more heartache? Will this long journey and season of waiting finally be over?

Scripture has been such a comfort to me lately. I say "lately" because it hasn't always been on this journey. Admittedly, there have been times when I have found it offensive and heartbreaking. The comfort that is offered seemed hollow and almost like a slap in the face at times. I am so thankful for the Lord's patience and continued pursuit of my heart...

He has allowed me to find such comfort in the Psalms. I have found that I am in such good company! The Psalms are filled with anguished prayers, cries to the Lord for rescue, and questions of "why?" and "how long?" They are also filled with heartfelt praise, thanksgiving to the Lord, and prayers of surrender and trust before the Lord. Even in the midst of hard circumstances. Before the specific prayers are answered.

I have also found courage and strength in the pages of Habakkuk. When I first came across these verses, I didn't know how I could ever rejoice over our heartbreak and loss. So my prayer was that the Lord would bring me to that point where I could say these verses and believe them. By God's grace, I'm getting closer. And this morning, He asked me to write down my suffering, to give it specific words, and to pray with a heart of thanksgiving. 

It's not easy, and I still have to pray for the Lord's strength, but in faith, I can now rejoice with Habakkuk...

"Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines,
"Though my womb may be empty and there be no baby in my arms,
the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food,
the transfer may fail and the pregnancy tests say negative,
the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
the beta numbers drop, the heartbeat can't be heard, and there is no longer life in my womb,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength"
God, the Lord, is my strength."

~Habakkuk 3:17-19a


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