When God Doesn't Move The Mountains

We've been trying to have a baby for exactly two years now. And over those two years, I've heard it all. A commonly held belief, it would seem, is that if I would just have enough faith, it would happen. And that same view would hold that the reason it hasn’t happened is simply because our faith hasn't been strong enough.

So what have I done? I've prayed. Hard. Blood, sweat, and tears, hard. I've given it to God, and I've given it to Him often. I've mustered up every ounce of faith in my being to the point of feeling physically fatigued and sick.

And yet, nothing. 

At the end of the day, apparently the faith I did have wasn't the super-human, mind-blowing faith they feel I needed to make it happen. It just wasn't enough.

This is hard to accept for so many reasons, but mostly because this view makes my infertility my responsibility to heal. I'm still infertile because I couldn't muster enough faith. Because my prayers were, and are, insufficient. They weren't strong enough to make God heal me. My crying and praying and using every ounce of faith I thought was possible wasn't enough to make God say yes and give me a baby. 

But my view has started to change. I read a section of the Bible in 2 Corinthians where Paul, the guy with an insurmountable level of faith, talked about his disability. Keep in mind, this guy commanded people to be healed in the name of Jesus, and they were healed instantly. This guy told a demon to flee simply  because he was annoyed, and the demon fled. Paul clearly lacks no faith. He's the guy that could say to a mountain, "move," and it would have to move. He says:

"...I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then He told me,

'My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.'                                            

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift."  {2 Corinthians 12:7-12, The Message}

The poster child of faith could not pray his own disability away. Three times he prayed, using a level of faith that is hard to wrap my mind around...and God still said no. God wanted Paul to rely on His grace to make it through, not on Paul’s own ability. God wanted to bring Paul to his knees so that he would have to rely on Him to get by. Had he not had a handicap, he could have easily taken pride in the fact that he was self-reliant, incredibly blessed and favored, and although He would probably still wave to God on occasion (ya know, just to maintain the relationship,) he doesn't really need Him.

There's some deep truth to that. While it would be cool to sip coffee and laugh with my girlfriends about how we are all such "fertile myrtles," I will never be able to do that. I have been stripped of any pride I could possibly have regarding my body’s natural ability to be a mother. And I can not currently testify about the incredible gift of children that I have. Because, unless I’m going crazy, I see no little kiddos running around my house. Instead, I'm forced to my knees, having to completely rely on God's decisions, having no choice but to count on the fact that His grace is enough to give me joy without a baby. Because my gift isn't wrapped in ribbons and bows. It's wrapped in tears and carpet burns on my knees. He could have healed me, Paul, or you, instantly.

But sometimes God says no.

I'll be honest, I am not as great at handling these things as Paul was. I am not to the point of referring to my infertility as a “gift.” Or appreciating it. Or being happy that it's a constant reminder that I can't do everything on my own. No, that pill is not a fun one to swallow.

I can imagine that you might not be there yet, either. "There" is hard. "There" requires us to say things like:

  • "Even if You never give me a baby, Your grace is enough."
  • "Even if my child is never healed of their disability, Your grace is enough."
  • "Even if my painful disease never goes away, Your grace is enough."
  • "Even if You don't heal my mother's cancer, Your grace is enough."

No, "there" is not the hot and happening place you naturally want to hang out at. But it's also the place of comfort because you get to surrender total control. You don't have to tell yourself that the faith you just tried so hard to muster up, so intensely that it made you physically sick, wasn't enough. That if you could just try a little harder, you could make God change the situation. That you could somehow control God.

Because, surprisingly, it's incredibly comforting to know that God can say no. And he does, often. There's strength in knowing we can't control His decisions, and that the outcome does not always, in fact, depend on our level of faith.

And there's strength in knowing that sometimes God doesn't move the mountains, simply because He wants us to rely on Him to climb them.

Original Post can be found at: heatherhiccups.wordpress.com

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