We live in a gap between God's promises and our reality. God gives us promise and hope, but we live in a world full of trials and disappointments. In this gap between promise and reality, our faith is cultivated. We learn to place our faith entirely in our entirely faithful God. (These words come from a message on Genesis 15 preached at our church two Sundays ago.)
This past Sunday morning, we sang the hymn "Great Is Your Faithfulness." As I sang, my heart (and my eyes) filled to overflowing with the ache of that gap between God's promises and the reality of my infertility.
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.
I don't always feel like I have the strength necessary for each day - for disappointing diagnoses, for watching other's pregnant bellies grow around me, for waiting and waiting and waiting. And bright hope for tomorrow? All I can foresee in my circumstances is dim trouble - another cycle starting, another friend's baby being born, a surgery in which I may or may not lose one fallopian tube. Blessings all mine? All? What about the blessing of children? I am too often aware of the blessings I lack, rather than the abundance of blessings I have been given in Christ.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.
There is so much more in my life that I want the Lord to provide - healing, freedom from infertility, pregnancy, children. But he provides all I need. He has given me salvation, pardoned my sins. He does give me strength for each day, grace to navigate the temptations of infertility, even if I barely make it through the rough waters by clinging to him as my life preserver. I do have bright hope - hope of heaven, hope of increasing Christ-likeness, hope of seeing my Savior face to face. I do have every best blessing in Christ. Oh, I don't always feel these things. I shed many tears over the distance between my experience and the truth of God's promises. But...
There is no shadow of turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not;
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
My circumstances toss the little boat of my soul around on waves of doubt and distress. My feelings turn me round and round like a whirlpool. My diagnosis, my expectations, change like storms. But God does not change or turn. His compassion won't fail me. The same compassion that moved him to sacrifice his Son on my behalf is extended to me today. He knows how much it hurts to live in the gap between his promises and my reality. So when the heartache seems to swamp me, I ask for new mercy to see the Lord and his word as more real than my circumstances. By faith, I will see more of his faithfulness.