Too many of us long for His presents, rather than His presence
– Joyce Meyer.
My husband and I have been journeying through the heartache of “unexplained infertility” for four years now. Not an easy journey and one that I would never wish on anyone, but one that God has called us on. And yet it just occurred to me that during the whole of the last four years, most of that time I’ve been seeking God’s presents rather than his presence. Every single month for the last four years I have desperately begged and pleaded with God to give us a child, but rarely have I thought to stop and seek him instead. All that time I was seeking his gifts, his presents, rather than God himself, the giver of the gifts.
Recently my Mum told me of a book she was reading (of which I do not know the name) which taught that when we are longing for something, instead of focusing on the desire and repeatedly asking for it (for God knows what we want), we should come to the Lord in worship and praise, focusing on him alone. So while going through this round of IVF I thought I’d give it a try. Seriously, what did I have to lose?
Whoa! I tell you, what a difference worship and praise of God has made to this cycle of treatment! Previously, I have been a nervous wreck during each fertility treatment, constantly analysing the changes in my body and being tied up in knots of worry about whether I am going to respond to the treatment and finally get pregnant. But this time it just doesn’t seem to matter. Worshiping Jesus has brought me so much peace and joy. I feel like I have finally surrendered to Him like never before. I know and trust that God is bringing good things to my life, that he has plans for my husband and I, plans for our welfare and not for harm, but for a future with hope (Jeremiah 29:11). So whether the fertility treatments work or not doesn’t really matter anymore: if it does then the Author of Life has ordained for this child to come into the world for his purposes, and if not then God has another plan for us and I am ready and willing to walk that journey with him. I’m not saying that we won’t feel sadness and grief if the treatment doesn’t work, but ultimately the God of the Universe holds my life in his hands and he has got an amazing purpose for my life which he is bringing about here and now. I trust him completely with whatever he has in store. No longer do I ask, Why are you doing this to me God? But rather I know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). And all this confidence and trust that I have now has come through worship and praise, seeking God’s presence, not his presents. I honestly wish I had learnt to do this earlier as it would have probably helped prevent a very broken and shattered heart. But God’s healing is here!
So if you are struggling with worry, fear or anxiety, desperately longing for prayers to be answered and change to come then I encourage you to seek the Giver of the gifts rather than the gifts, themselves. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). Come to God seeking him first with a heart of thanksgiving and praise and let him fill you with his love, his joy, his peace and his spirit. You are his beloved child and he is holding you in the palm of his hand. Know that his plans for you will come in his timing. Trust him. Surrender to him. Worship him.