By Beverly Chao Berrus
Six weeks ago, I gave birth to our second child. What a sweet (and pain-filled) privilege as I think about how just three years ago, my husband and I were faced with the possibility that my body may not sustain a pregnancy long enough to deliver a living child. At the time, I felt crushed and cursed. I’m sure many women experience similar feelings of despair in the face of yearning and waiting for something God says is good.
Looking back, I see how God used my waiting and trials to refine my faith, as gold through the fire, testing its authenticity and removing impurities (1 Pet. 1:7-9). Recently, my husband preached from James 1:1-12 and I was reminded of the farsighted vision that Christians must have as they undergo trials of various kinds. The goodness of God and the brokenness of the world reminds us that we are waiting for that which is not found on this side of eternity.
A beloved pastor once said to me: “Waiting is one of the hardest things faith demands of us.” Waiting is real faith in action. Whether you’re waiting for God’s provision of a spouse or child, never knowing if these good gifts will be given to you in this life, be comforted by Scripture. D. Martin Lloyd-Jones spoke of this principle in his book Spiritual Depression when he said, “It is good, always, to start with the Bible, where there is explicit teaching on every condition and it is also good to look at examples and illustrations from the same source.”
We can’t deny the sadness and mourning that come with waiting a midst difficult circumstances, but God has spoken comfort to us through His Word. He declares that He is “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles…” (2 Cor. 1:3-4). It was helpful for me to go to God’s Word to learn what it meant to wait upon the Lord.
Comfort from the Word
Recalling illustrations from the Bible of God’s daughters waiting upon Him has also been a helpful tool. There are stories of widows waiting for a husband to redeem them and stories of women waiting for children. I was encouraged by how Sarah trusted, Hannah trusted, Ruth trusted, Elizabeth trusted, Mary trusted, and so on. They faced deep sadness in unmet desires but their lives became trophies of God’s supernatural grace. The point is not that they put all their hope and trust in a specific outcome, but that they turned to the Lord of Creation, who forms universes simply by the power of His speech. They trusted the Good Shepherd when they didn’t know if He would ever provide. He is the One who has abolished death and made new hearts from dead ones, through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Above all, be comforted that all your longings will be fulfilled in God’s promises through Christ, in whom we are given an everlasting family, secured an inheritance that will never fade, built a home that cannot be destroyed, and provided eternal job security, praising our Triune God for endless days in the fullness of joy in His presence! Even though I love my children and longed for them, I can testify that being a mom has not given me ultimate satisfaction the way that the gospel has. For those “longing for a better country — a heavenly one, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them” (Hebrews 11:16). This is not to trivialize the good things we long for in spouses and children, but we wait for something far better, which we will receive.
Waiting is not easy or comfortable because it trusts in the promises of another. We feel wildly out of control when we are waiting on another. But we have a God who keeps all His promises in Jesus and whose timing is impeccable. We may feel abandoned and cursed, but be encouraged that though we live in a world cursed by sin, we are not waiting because we are cursed. Singleness and infertility are not curses upon us. The process of waiting can be the means by which God produces steadfastness so that we would be complete, lacking nothing (James 1: 4). Our waiting, especially in trials and suffering, is our faith in action. Sisters, may we grow in echoing the words of Habakkuk 3:
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength.”
Beverly Chao Berrus was born into a family that practiced the worship of idols and ancestors. She became a Christian in middle school and was born again into the kingdom of heaven. Bev is married to Jason and they have one daughter, Sam. They’ve recently moved from Washington, DC to the United Arab Emirates, where Jason serves on staff at Redeemer Church of Dubai.
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