ODJ: silencing the barren womb

July 29, 2014 

READ: Proverbs 30:15-16 

There are three things that are never satisfied—no, four that never say, “Enough!”: the grave, the barren womb, the thirsty desert, the blazing fire (vv.15-16).

Dear Sheridan,
I know that you and your wife have never been able to have children. My husband and I haven’t been able to either, and we’ve tried almost everything to do so. The hardest thing I find is that the pain and the longing never seem to go away. I resonate with what Proverbs 30 says: The barren womb is never satisfied. I know you and Merryn have been able to move on with your lives. What I want to know is, Does the pain and longing ever go away, or just lessen over time? Yours sincerely, Becky

Dear Becky,

Merryn and I share your sadness. The longing that Proverbs 30 points to is so real. If you ultimately don’t have children, it will probably always hurt a little. But we’ve found that the “time between the tears” gets longer as time goes on—and the pain does lessen. For this to happen, however, you need to grieve well. Merryn and I could move forward only after we drew a line and brought our 10 year dream of having children to an end. It was time.

God may not be calling you to bring your dream to an end yet, but if He is, please know this: there is life without children. Your life won’t be over. But it will hurt for a time, and then it will begin to get better. And then you may find God using your pain in surprising ways: giving you a special grace in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:8-9), and using you to bring comfort to others who suffer (1:3-7). Jesus profoundly touched people’s lives through His deepest pain (Luke 23:33-34,39-43,47; John 19:26-27).

The empty womb may never be satisfied, but God has always brought good things out of nothing.

I’ll be praying that God clarifies the next step for you to take. With love, Sheridan

—Sheridan Voysey

365-day plan› John 8:1-20

Read 2 Corinthians 1:6 and consider what it says about the importance of comforting and encouraging other believers in Jesus. 
What happened when you had to let a dream die? How have you seen God use pain for the good of others?