Read Genesis 18:11, Genesis 30:1, 1 Samuel 1:1-8, and Luke 1:7. What do these people have in common? How did God answer their longings?
Children are a blessing. But for some reason God doesn’t always bless everyone with children. Some hope and pray for a family, and God graciously grants their request, sometimes quite miraculously, as in the case of Sarah; others just as fervent in their petitions before God’s throne are met by deafening silence.
Every time they see friends praise God for their pregnancies and when they welcome their babies, it deepens the depth of the wound as they consider their empty nest. Even such innocent questions as “How many children do you have?” serve as painful reminders of an exclusive club that those without children are excluded from, even though they may want to join.
Those who have gone through such an experience should come to accept that God understands their sorrow. The psalmist declares of God, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” (Ps. 56:8, NLT). Even though He seems silent, “the LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him” (Ps. 103:13, NLT).
Other people, meanwhile, for various reasons, might choose simply not to have children. One can understand in a world like ours so full of suffering, pain, evil, and potential calamity, why some might decide not to bring more people into it. In some cases, some people might choose to adopt children instead of having their own; that way they can raise children who are already here, often giving them a chance at a much better life than what they might have otherwise had.
Our world is a complicated place, and we are likely to meet all sorts of people in all sorts of situations in regard to having or not having children. In whatever situation we find ourselves regarding the question of children, we can live with the assurance of God’s love for us and His desire for our good end. At the same time, too, let’s always remember to be as sensitive as we can toward people who, for whatever reasons, do not have kids.
|Jesus never had any natural children of His own. What lessons, if any, are there for us in this fact?|