Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In "Other" Words - Give Me a Hand

“Dear Lord, I do not ask that Thou shouldst give me
some high work of thine, some noble calling or
some wondrous task.
Give me a little hand to hold in mine.”

"Sarai was barren; she had no children." - Genesis 11:30

We know how God blessed Abraham & Sarah with Isaac...

"Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant." - Genesis 25:21

We know the answer to Isaac's prayer. God blessed Isaac & Rebekah with Jacob and Esau.

"When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren." - Genesis 29:31

She and Jacob had lots of children. Rachel did not stay barren but went on to mother Joseph and Benjamin.

Hannah had Samuel, David's wife Bathsheba went onto have a son Solomon, even after they had lost one, Elizabeth had John, and on it goes.....

So why didn't God answer my prayer? Was I not contrite enough? Did I not pray enough? Was it not worthy? Not mommy material?

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." - Proverbs 16:9

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." - Proverbs 19:21

I may never know why God didn't answer my prayer, but I knew from the moment I began trying to conceive that I had to trust God's plans, and I knew He loved me. And when I heard the words, "I'm sorry, it's infertility," I prayed. Hard. More. I committed my life to serving Him and seeking His will, and trusted that He would provide for me and not forsake me.

"Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." - Psalm 9:10

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. - Jeremiah 29:11-13

I was living the life of the Parable of the Persistent Widow. Well, I wasn't a widow, but I knocked on God's door faithfully every morning. For 8 years straight.

"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' " And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:1-6

I thought surely God must be tired of me praying the same prayer. Did He even hear me? Yes. A thousand times, yes! He heard! He cared. I remained faithful in prayer just as that persistent widow did to the unjust judge. Praise God that He is just! He cares. He loves. He hears.

"but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer." - Psalm 66:19

And then we conceived and I miscarried.

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." - Psalm 34:18

And then He answered.

"He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD." - Psalm 113:9

I have praised the Lord for hearing my prayers through the years, for settling me in my home, for blessing me with children, though they were not children of my womb. I have a bonus daughter, whom I raised from the age of 6 to 20, a grandson who is almost 1, another grandson on the way, a nephew who is a week old today, and a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins and friends I have seen grow up from 0 to now. He has settled me, indeed! Blessed be the name of the Lord!

I wanted all God had to give me, and in being willing to accept it, I have received more than I ever could have dreamed to have asked for.

My soul is satisfied. God's will was okay with me. Why? Because although each and every time I prayed, "...Give me a little hand to hold in mine." I added, "But your will be done, not mine, Lord." And I meant it. It's good to be centered in God's will. It's humbling, it's a privelege, and it just feels "settling".

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." - John 10:10

Those are the words of Christ. He has given me a very full life.

I don't feel barren anymore.

Our hostess this week is Nina at Mama's Little Treasure's. Please stop by her blog and see the different "other words" these women have shared on this quote.


Karen said...

That was beautiful. Isn't it wonderful how God can fill that empty void in us to where we don't have to feel barren anymore. Thy will be done, is not an easy thing to accept but its always possible as we trust God with our lives.

LAURIE said...

Thank you for sharing from your heart. THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL! God has entrusted us with many children; some are step children, some are grandchildren, some are just children in our neighborhood or in our churches that need a good godly role model. Thank you Laurie Ann for stepping up to the plate and being a beautiful role model to those children around you. -Blessings, Laurie

LauraLee Shaw said...

You made me cry! Oh, what a tender, heartfelt, authentic post. Your humility and vulnerability to living your life out for God no matter what is so evident. Glad I came by here again today, because my day will not be the same because of it.

Homesteader in Training said...

How wonderful that you are able to take what is given you and completely trust in our wonderful Savior. He knows the plans He has for you. Wonderful post my friend. May the Lord bless you abundantly.

Lelia Chealey said...

Precious...both you & the post!
I am such a firm believer in Philippians 1:12 (NIV) when it comes to the "why" of our testimony. I believe that what God allows us to go through is to advance His Kingdom. Period. Has to be all about Him. He is using you and will use you to reach the woman that can't praise Him in their darkness. What a blessing you are!!

Susan said...

Hey Laurie Ann,

Oh, this was just so beautiful! I've known your testimony, but the way you shared it today in light of this quote, W-O-W!!

Praise God your have found true joy and peace in ALL that God has given you.

You are one blessed woman of God, and I'm so honored God allowed our paths to cross. Thanks for testifying how faithful our MIGHTY GOD truly is.

Blessings my sweet friend,


Denise said...

Bless your precious heart, love you so much.

Melanie said...

A beautiful post, Laurie Ann. I am so thankful that God has satisfied your soul... that you are happy and content and have such a full life... even though it isn't quite as you would've hoped it would be when you first began praying for children. What an awesome God we serve!

May God continue to bless you and keep your life full, my friend. I am so thankful that he led me to your blog and that I can share in what he has given you thru your words.