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“Seven years. . . seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.”

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It’s her golden birthday today. She turns seven on the seventh.

For seven years now my wife and I have praised God for closing her womb. For seven years now we have been rejoicing over the many years of barrenness that preceded March 7, 2001. For seven years we have been blessing God for our infertility. For seven years we have been relishing the fruit of our affliction. Our daughter is our Ephraim: “God has made us fruitful in the land of our affliction.”

On our children’s birthdays we think of precious barren couples and fervently hope that they will be strengthened by our story. A Mother’s Day never passes that this pastor does not publicly pray for the barren woman.

For seven years we have become more perplexed than ever why we should have been chosen to be so blessed. “Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest” (Psalm 65:4). We will never be able to comprehend why, of all the barren women in the world, God chose to make this verse Jennie’s testimony:

“He maketh the barren woman to keep house; and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord” (Psalm 113:9).

A birthday is a praise day for Jennie and me. It’s a remembrance day.

This happy day is tinged only by the sad reality that many couples silently suffer barrenness and that thousands of babies needlessly die by the hand of the abortionist. Our joy is dampened only by the fact that so many people still think that adoption is only Plan B, failing to see that it may be God has designed it to be Plan A for their most unexpected happiness.

The following is a piece I wrote for a National Sanctify of Life Day and published on my blog some time ago. It’s the story of when we first held our daughter seven years ago today.

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Lamentation – The Timelessness of Pain

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This AP picture was moving to me. It was taken in 2008 at the funeral of 8 seminary students killed in Israel this week, but it could just have well have been taken when “a voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted because they were no more” (Matthew 2:18).

It was taken today, but it could have been taken when Jeremiah penned the words, “She weeps bitterly in the night, with tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they have become her enemies” (Lamentations 1:2).

The photo is contemporary, but it could have been taken two thousand years ago when Jesus of Nazareth, bearing His cross to Golgotha, turned to weeping women and said,

Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (Luke 23:27-31).

A couple mourns. The clothing seen in this picture is clothing that might have been worn two thousand years ago. The timelessness of pain was digitally captured.

When will Rachel rejoice? When will she wipe away her tears and no longer wail, “Blessed are the breasts that never nursed”? Or will Rachel always weep?

They say pictures are worth a thousand words. I say that some pictures are worth a thousand sober questions.

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