Devotional Thoughts: Barreness, Spurgeon and God

The pain of barrenness runs deep in the soul of a woman. While meeting with a social worker preparing to be a foster parent I was asked if I can have children. “I don’t know,” I said, “I never tried.” We both laughed at my unique answer, unique because I’d been single for many years and because of my faith I wasn’t going to have a child out of wedlock. I’d even ceased dating for ten years because of some bad experiences I had. I accepted I’d never marry or have children. Out of this situation I felt God’s call to foster.

In Isaiah 54A the barren one is asked to sing? Her children will be more than the one who is married? This sounds quite absurd and sometimes God calls us into what seems a bit crazy. Isaiah 54 is so rich! Here the verses that follow:

2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,

stretch your tent curtains wide,

do not hold back;

lengthen your cords,

strengthen your stakes.

3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;

your descendants will dispossess nations

and settle in their desolate cities.

4 “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.

and settle in their desolate cities.

4 “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.

Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.

You will forget the shame of your youth

and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.

5 For your Maker is your husband—

the Lord Almighty is his name—

the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;

he is called the God of all the earth.

6 The Lord will call you back

as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—

a wife who married young,

only to be rejected,” says your God.

7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you,

but with deep compassion I will bring you back.”

“In this Western clime, we do not know all the misery which was felt by Eastern women who were childless; they were looked down upon and despised; yet here God bids them sing. And, dear friends, if you and I feel as if our hearts have become barren, so that we cannot think of God or raise our thoughts towards him as we would desire; if we feel that we have become useless, and for that reason our spirit is greatly depressed, let us give heed to this sweet, this charming exhortation of Jehovah: “Sing, O barren soul; break forth into singing, and cry aloud;” for God can turn our barrenness into fruitfulness, and make us to rejoice exceedingly before him. If we are now sighing and crying because we are not what we ought to be, or what we want to be, God can, in the richness of his grace, make us all that we desire. Therefore let us begin to be joyful even before the miracle of mercy is wrought; let us have unbounded faith in God, and expect him to bless us, even while we are in our lowest state.” -Spurgeon

God cares for the hurting. It is He who stands in the gap for us and makes things right even if it doesn’t happen in this life. So, never mind what’s happening. Let’s stretch out our tents and welcome all who will listen to how good God is! Remain close to God and all will be made right today, tomorrow or on the other side of eternity.

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