Today in reading the scriptures Psalms 127: 3 makes me stop. “Children are a gift from the Lord.” It almost hurts to read these words when we are surrounded by miscarriage and barrenness in so many relationships. The words of my dear friend reverberate in my mind: barrenness is not of the Lord. I agree. It is not the Lord’s desire for us to be barren. And so I think of the little book that was popular a few years ago, which my mother gave me a copy of: The Prayer of Jabez, by Bruce Wilkinson. This book builds a message on the verse I Chronicles 4:9 “Oh that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil.”
So today I pray with scripture to support me: “Oh that You would bless me and I ask that you bless me with the gift of a child! That you would enlarge my family and my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, and remove this barrenness.”
I know that God wants to bless His children! I know this and yet, I hesitate to pray with confidence this prayer for blessing into my life and into the lives of those so dear waiting for children.
Bruce Wilkinson says in his book (p23):
When we ask for God’s blessing, we’re not asking for more of what we could get for ourselves. We’re crying out for the wonderful, unlimited goodness that only God has the power to know about or give to us.
In the past months it has come to my attention that I cannot create a child on my own accord. Sure my husband and I can try and it seems that a child should be created. But month after month, we still wait. Our friends still wait. The science of it is well known, and yet it doesn’t always work. A child is a miracle of God. This has become so evident!
In a way this reminds me of when I was first learning to drive. My mom took me to a large parking lot. She spoke to me of the power of the vehicle I was about to drive. She cautioned me that she thought I was over-confident, that she thought I didn’t fully grasp the position driving this vehicle placed me in. She instructed me that I was driving a vehicle with much capability and that was to be taken seriously to avoid harm. Now too, I think back 10 months, to first trying to have a child. I was confident, cocky even. We’ll have no problem with this. We’re healthy, we’re educated, we understand science. We can make a baby, and in fact I think we can make one in quick time. Sure I prayed for wisdom to raise a child. But did I pray for the procreation of that child? No. Without realizing it I felt I didn’t need God’s hands to create the child. Ten months ago I did not grasp that the procreation of life is a blessing and complete miracle of God. So as my mother sought to speak words of instruction into my life that day in our mini-van to help me grasp that which I, in my over-confidence, didn’t acknowledge or understand, in these 10 months the Lord has spoken wise words into my life which have humbled me.
Perhaps the parallels of these 2 examples seem somewhat weak to you. However, I spend time on a weekly basis with teenagers as a youth leader. Getting your drivers license is HUGE when you are in high-school. It is, for most of the students, the biggest accomplishment yet of their lives. It is a token of growing up, of independence, of capability. I remember clearly getting my drivers license. Next comes graduation, then (for me, this order) marriage, convocation, passing a stressful exam to become licensed as a professional. Next step: start a family. As our lives pace forward there are these momentous steps and at each step there is much to be learned. Much to be learned.
So today I pray expectantly. I pray that God would bless Ryan and I with the gift of a child. A gift that only God can give. I ask that God would expand our territory, our opportunity zone to share His great goodness. I pray that God’s hand would be on our family. I pray that He would protect us from evil. I pray that He would fill us with the Holy Spirit and that we would have ears to hear and eyes to see.
And in this prayer, I pray the same thing for those dear to me. For those who have lost children in the past and await the cries of their child in their arms: for CF & VF, for JW & AW, for RF & TF, for NT & MT, for RM & MM, for MK& AK, and for BG& JG.
And for those dear to us who await the birth of their child, who have not endured miscarriage and loss, but who hope for a healthy child growing within them and for wisdom to raise them well: for JR & CR, for CS & ES, for BM & AM.
"You know beyond a doubt that you were redeemed for this: to ask Him for the God-sized best He has in mind for you, and to ask for it with all your heart." (Prayer of Jabez, p91)