Matthew 19 tells the story of the rich young man who wants to experience eternal life from God, so he boldly asks Jesus how to obtain it. He confirms that he has shaped his life in accordance with God’s rules. Jesus then tells him the last thing he needs to do is sell everything he owns and give the profits to the poor to follow Him. And the man goes away sorrowful, because he has to make a choice between Jesus and his possessions, and he can’t imagine giving up his wealth.
I don’t think this story is meant to make a literal statement about wealth, though it certainly can apply to materialism – I think it’s about what you treasure most. The commandments not mentioned in the list He gives are the first three about having no other gods before Him, no idols, no irreverance toward His name. Jesus wants us to treasure Him most. He wants us to choose Him when given the option, to be willing to let go of even the things He has blessed us with, to choose the Giver of gifts rather than the gifts themselves. He wants us to see Him as enough.
I don’t feel like God often makes me actually give up the gifts He has provided. I have noticed that He brings up the possibility of me having to let go of things, to see if I am willing to do so (kind of like Abraham being willing to give up Isaac but in the end God providing a ram). And not that He hasn’t asked me to let go of some things, and not that He won’t in the future. But it’s when those potential surrenders come up that I see the true holds on my heart.
And infertility has brought one up.
I have a hard time giving up being able to relate to others — I don’t want to feel left out or left behind.
I don’t want to be a cause for pity. I don’t particularly want to be singled out in a room full of women as the only one who doesn’t have kids. Those have been some of the most painful moments in this journey – the moments where I have felt isolated and alone. Like I am “falling behind” everyone else. And it’s not a reflection of insensitivity of people – on the contrary, my people have been constant and compassionate. It’s my own heart fears that isolate me.
But if Jesus is enough, like He wants the rich young man to understand, then I don’t need to fear being “incomplete” without a baby. If He is enough, then I do not have to live in hopelessness during infertility, no matter how long it lasts. I have to choose to see Him as enough and to rest in His sufficiency, even if it’s not an easy, tangible alternative.
And when that choice is hard to make, I bring myself back to the truth in Scripture to calm my weary and worried heart.
Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Philippians 4:19 – “And my God will meet all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Matthew 7:11 – “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 – “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
I don’t know what it is for you, what object or relationship or status catches your breath as you think about God asking you to let go. It can be anything. But I believe we all have something. The woman who discipled me in college set such a beautiful example for me. She knew hers was materialism, and she would share with me how she was learning to identify the line between enjoying the things in her home and her closet versus when they would become an obsession, overshadowing her love for God. She confessed to me when she was struggling, and she modeled a constant awareness of the state of her heart.
I want to be continually re-evaluating the state of my heart. Am I clinging more to God, or to comparisons and desires to be “in it” with everyone else? Am I more focused on desiring pregnancy, or desiring God no matter what story He has for our future family?
What is it that keeps you from whole-heartedly, without abandon, following Jesus? What are you holding back? What are you afraid to lack?
No matter what it is, do you believe that, with or without it, He is enough?