When Darkness Seems to Hide God's Face
Prior to marriage the thought of conceiving a child seemed quite easy. Everywhere I looked a woman was pregnant; surely it wasn't that difficult. My husband and I decided to try for children fairly early into our marriage. What looked easy before quickly became difficult for us. I struggled with a hope deferred combined with physical suffering and a fight to trust God under difficult circumstances.
My first trial was getting pregnant. I waited a year before becoming pregnant with my first child. I knew then I wasn't infertile. But I didn't know I would struggle with chronic miscarriages.
I knew there was something wrong during my first pregnancy when I began getting winded and dizzy going up a set of stairs. Most miscarriages seem to have little to no symptoms, but my first was full of evidence. I called my nurse, and within a few days my personal diagnosis was confirmed.
The sadness that comes along with miscarriages is indescribable. As a woman who understands that humanity begins at conception; the reality of a life---a son or a daughter---dying so young was very saddening. Yet I was full of faith after my first miscarriage. I was comforted knowing God's love for me and Jesus' relating to me (Hebrews 4:15).
I quickly became pregnant again and just as quickly miscarried for the second time. This time, I wasn't so full of faith. I was heartbroken. Would I ever be able to have children? I wonderer. My body and soul were tired.
My second miscarriage was the most difficult one. We had a name picked out. My doctor told us the sex of the baby. The baby girl had a heartbeat, she was only eight weeks old (gestation age). She was my little girl--gone. It seemed so odd. It also seemed like everyone around me was pregnant. So as I experienced yet another miscarriage friends and friends of friends were having babies.
Hope Not Deferred
For once I got it. I understood what it felt like to have a sick heart with a hope deferred (Prov 13:12). I longed for a child. This desire wasn't sinful. Children are a gift. But God was calling me to wait and endure various trials. He was teaching me patience, and I was learning how to trust him. God would eventually give me a beautiful son, followed by two more miscarriages, and then a daughter. Yet during the years of waiting and losing children, God was reminding me of my true hope.
There is a hope that is not deferred. There's the hope of a man who came to seek and save the lost. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with much grief. He was despised and crushed. He was pierced for our transgressions and iniquities (Isaiah 53). We have a great hope in Jesus Christ, the one who died, was raised, and is now at the right hand of God interceding for us all (Rom 8:35).
And one day we will see our Hope face to face. I have the hope of an eternal everlasting home where neither moth nor rust destroy and where no more shall there be an infant who lives but a few days (Matt. 6:20; Isaiah 65:20).
God doesn't promise a life of ease. So in my next trial I want to cling to Jesus. I cannot cling to the doctor's diagnosis. I cannot cling to the assistance of medicine. I definitely cannot cling to my own understanding (Prov 3:5). He is my only hope. He is where my hope is built.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus' Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
"My Hope Is Built" by Edward Mote, circa 1834; first appeared in Mote's Hymns of Praise, 1836