Enduring Hardships

All these were approved through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, so that they would not be made perfect without us.  (Hebrews 11:39-40)

Recently, there are many women I know who are struggling with infertility. Some have not been able to conceive, some have gotten pregnant and miscarried and some have delivered stillborn babies. It seems like everywhere I turn someone is experiencing infertility like a plague that has swept over my world.

As a mom, the grief of losing your own flesh and blood seems excruciating. The emotional roller coaster of being excited at becoming pregnant to grieving the loss of your baby is unbearable. Trying every possible way to become pregnant and yet experiencing a failed attempt every time is exhausting. And waiting on God to fulfill your dream can become consuming.

“Lord, how long will You forget me? Forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day?” (Ps 13:1-2) The psalmist breaks out into this cry in the midst of his troubles. It feels like forever. He sees no prospect of deliverance and wails as if he was utterly forsaken. The darkness deepens and his mind is overwhelmed. He goes to God and asks with despair whether these troubles will cease or there is hope for deliverance.

Dear friends, there are times when I feel at loss of words to comfort you. I just want to hug you and weep with you. I can write a dissertation on the theology of God in suffering and tell you reasons why God is allowing you to walk through your trial but I do not feel led at this time to do so. What I do want you to know is that you are not alone. Just as there are many of you experiencing a trial – infertility, abuse, divorce, betrayal, illness – there are people who have walked before you.

Hannah was not able to conceive (I Sam:6-18), Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery at the young age of 17 (Gen. 37:18-36), and in one day Job loses all his material possessions and sons and daughters (Job 1:13-22). Then there are the heroes of the faith who experienced shattered dreams as they received the promise that the Messiah would come but did not experience the fulfillment and died in faith believing it would happen.” (Heb. 11:39)

But this failure to experience the fulfillment of the promise was not due to any slackness on the part of God or to any defect in their faith. There was a good reason for it. “God had in view some better thing for us….” (Heb. 11:40) That’s right. God had in view something better for them. And that is the hope. Hannah eventually birthed Samuel who became the spiritual leader of Israel, Joseph became the king of Egypt, God restored Job and gave him double portion of possessions. Lastly, the promise for the heroes of the faith was fulfilled when the greatly awaited Messiah came to save the world.

In Psalm 13, the Psalmist is able to move from despair to worship rising above his distressing fears and throws himself, without reserve, on the mercy of his Divine Redeemer. He ends his psalm by saying, “But I have trusted in Your faithful love; my heart will rejoice in Your deliverance. I will sing to the Lord because He has treated me generously.” (Ps 13:5-6) He believes with faith that God will deliver Him and exalt Him in due time.

As we studied in Scripture, for those who trust in Him, over and over God takes the despondent and exalts him in a greater way any of them could have ever dreamed. Shattered dreams become greater, fulfilled dreams. My dear friends, your suffering is great and my heart is burdened with you. Throw yourself at the mercies of God and leave your cares and griefs to the throne of grace so He can turn your sorrows into joy, your mourning into dancing (Ps 30:11,12).

In due time He will deliver you and exalt you bringing glory to Himself. I cannot wait to see how God fulfills your dreams in an even greater way than you imagine. Interceding for you, my dear sisters.     Love,  Edna Lee

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