There are times when I really struggle with trying to understand God. Not surprising when His thoughts and ways are far beyond my simple comprehension. But every now and again, I come across a verse which upsets and frustrates me. Today, one of the guest speakers was preaching from the life of Ruth.
The verse which hit me wasn't even one of the verses he was focussed on during his preach, but that is sometimes the way God works - at least for me - in that He will draw my attention to something else. Ruth 4:13 TLV: "So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. When he went to her, Adonai enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son."
This is the Tree of Life version - a Messianic Family Bible developed with Messianic Jewish and Christian scholars. I like it because it includes some of the Jewish names of God.
The bit which struck me was "Adonai enabled her to conceive". Obviously, being brought up a Pastor's Kid, I've read the book of Ruth many times. But reading in a new or different version can shed a new light on an "old" story. I mean I know God is the Creator of life, and that we're given the gift of a child through Him, and He knits us together in our mother's wombs and all that, but this concept that God enables us to conceive.... why doesn't He enable all of us to conceive. Or rather, why hasn't God enabled me to conceive.
And so, here I am again, back in that place of wondering if I have been soooo hideously bad that God is punishing me by not enabling me to conceive. Or maybe I'm just not cut out for motherhood, which is why He hasn't enabled me to conceive. Or maybe...!
I wish I knew. I wish I could work it out. I wish I could understand God, and why He enables some women to conceive and not others.... especially those women who don't actually want children. Or who mistreat them, abuse them or neglect them. I wish I knew how God chooses who will be blessed with children and who won't. Is it that simple????
Interesting that Stephen Fry has been in the conversation of many Christians for his attack on God earlier in the week. Maybe because he is such an outspoken, anti-God atheist it riled us and we didn't like the way Fry spoke about our God in that way. But one of the things it has highlighted is that even the most seasoned Christian is similar to the atheist in that one way.... we all have questions we would bring to God. I think I had hundreds when I was growing up my parents coudn't answer so they used to say, "You'll have to ask God."
This question of why God hasn't enabled me to conceive, compared to some women, is one of my questions I would love to ask Him. The question of my faith, though, remains unchallenged. Even by this. Because whatever is happening, I know the only One Who can carry me through the good days and the bad ones, is the One Who knows my beginning from my end, and He knows the plans He has for my life. I can trust that when the time is right, God will enable me to conceive. And if the time is never right, He will give me the strength to get through every dark day I face, He will enable me to stand, even when I feel like falling on my knees and giving up.
Father God, I don't understand. But Father God, I trust You. Help me to stand.