60-Days-of-Second: Follow along as 15 bloggers journey through 4 readings each from the new book, Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First. Together they will blog through 60-Days-of-Second. Register to follow at www.iamsecond.com/blog. Get the “Live Second” book in stores December 9.
Day 8 by Jon Cook.
“God had promised to make Abram’s descendants great. But still the childless Abram waited.” -Live Second, 10.
Over the years as a pastor and as a friend, I have walked with multiple couples through the pure darkness of infertility. I have cried with them and hurt with them and asked God why as doctors and treatment and life changes and so much more have been attempted in the hope that two thin lines crisscrossing on a test will be the start of something new.
Sometimes the blessing of a child comes… but for many of these friends, the reality remains the same. And the tears still come. And the pain still hurts. And the question of why is louder than ever. It’s messy and so personal. It’s left me wondering why myself because in the end, there really isn’t a great answer. As a friend and as a follower of Jesus, that’s a tough place to be.
I hear those same cries and the tears and the pain and pure agony of a father’s heart trapped in a childless man when I read this story about Abraham wanting his own child. At what point did Abraham wonder if God would actually follow through on His promise of a son. “God, you promised me a son… now what?”
God did eventually give Abraham a son but part of Abraham’s struggle along his journey was that he pushed his own agenda above God’s. You won’t give me a kid now? Fine. I’ll do it myself. Abraham’s struggle was in wanting a child but for a lot of us, that same type of struggle comes in other ways.
That job you’ve been waiting for and still haven’t gotten. That relationship that’s still broken and a mess. That ache in your heart from the apology that’s never gonna come. It hurts. And you beg and cry and ask God to do something, to fix it but things remain the same… and you start to wonder if maybe you could do better than God.
At what point am I putting my own desires over the plan that a truly loving and giving God has in store for me? Am I putting my wants before what God wants for me and from me? Living second today is giving God the benefit of the doubt, that maybe what I want and what is best for me are two different things.
And it’s okay to be honest with Him about it. He can handle my questions, even the big, hairy ones. He can handle my words, as raw and real as they might be. He wants me to be honest and upfront with Him because if anyone can handle it, He can.
The point of living second isn’t to get what I want; the point is that sometimes I’m called to sacrifice my own greatest desires in hope that a good and loving God has something better in store for me. His timing may not always match up with mine, I may even hate the answers that come, but I can trust in a God who knows me best. What I want may not be what I need but I can be honest with God about how I feel.