How long, Yahweh, shall I cry and you will not hear? (Habakkuk 1:1)
This was Habakkuk’s cry of anguish at the growing wickedness in his beloved land of Judah. There was a great internal and external trouble in the land and the wicked were going unpunished. Habakkuk wanted answers from God and He cried out in distress and frustration. While the book of Habakkuk is one of the shortest in the Bible, it overflows with lessons on God’s plan and purpose for His people. It is heartening to know that God answers Habakkuk’s questions and goes on to reveal His divine plans for His children.
While Habakkuk’s reasons for frustration may be starkly different from yours, there is a lot of similarity in his doubting God’s plan and timing. If you have been trying to become a parent for a long time and you are still waiting for God to bless you with a baby, you may be struggling with feelings of fear, frustration, hopelessness, and anxiety. Maybe you have reached that point where you are ready to throw in the towel and give up. But hold on! God has a special plan and purpose for your life and your future.
There is an important lesson we can learn from the Book of Habakkuk: it is okay to question God! Habakkuk questioned God more than once because of his fear and frustration. But, the key lesson is he was honest with his feelings towards God. Maybe you are wondering ‘Why is God silent?’, ‘Has He allowed this barrenness to come upon me?’, ‘How can a God who is good sit back and watch me go through the pain of infertility without coming to my assistance?’, ‘Is God truly who He claims to be? Is He really ready to come to my help?’ Many Christian couples waiting to become a parent struggle with these questions. It is important to realize how we handle these thoughts of doubts and insecurities. Do we run to the throne or to the phone? Are we honest about our emotions and facing them or fleeing from them?
Mike and Elena were a Christian couple who tried every avenue to conceive. They sought prayer and encouragement from their family members, their church family, and even met with their pastor to ensure they were including God’s teaching in their decisions. They faithfully took everything to Him in prayer together as a couple.
After they received the news from their fertility specialist that a pregnancy was going to be impossible, Elena fell apart. She refused to go to church, would not take calls from friends or her pastor, and wouldn’t even talk to Mike about the diagnosis or the future. Mike didn’t know how to comfort his wife; certainly this was a situation that he could fix. In fact, he even felt shut out, like his wife had turned into someone else. Mike continued the weekly meetings with the pastor, spending most of the time in prayer for Elena. And one night, she had a breakthrough of sorts, although it might not have seemed like it at the time.
Mike had brought home a book on Christian adoption and placed it on his nightstand, intent on reading it, yet hoping Elena might be interested. She saw it and flew into rage, declaring that God was not a God of love to bring her through so much only to drop her at the end. Along with the anger, the tears began to flow, the heartache and loneliness of keeping it all inside. And finally, the aching grief and loss of fearing that she will never be a mother. “God has forgotten me,” Elena said through the sobs.
The next day, nothing seemed different to Mike. Elena was still somber, sullen, and sad, unwilling to engage in the activities and friendships that had supported them both through the fertility treatments. But inside, Elena’s heart was softening. It was as if finally unleashing her emotions, tears, and thoughts allowed her to begin to see that God hadn’t forgotten her.
Today, Mike and Elena are waiting to adopt a child. Through the journey of emotions that accompany infertility, Elena has learned that while God’s plan for her may be different than she hoped, it is no less blessed. God does have a child for them, and it is a child of His choosing, not simply biology.
God is willing to answer your questions, just as He answered Habakkuk’s. When you are dealing with thoughts of doubt, you have two choices: to live in fear or to live in faith. The beautiful verses at the end of the Book of Habakkuk show how he chose to live in faith! I encourage you to read them and hold them close to your heart as you wait for God to reveal His plans and timing for your parenthood.
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The LORD God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.