Summary: This sermon encourages the listener to trust in the LORD and do good and to wait patiently upon the LORD until He turns your barrenness into blessedness.
I remember it like it was yesterday … Thanksgiving 2004 was one of the happiest holidays of my life. We spent Thanksgiving with Selena’s aunt Dorothy and a lot of her family members. It was so nice to be apart of a large family gathering in which I truly felt felt loved. Selena was pregnant and even though we knew there were some complications we were still praying for and expecting her pregnancy to result in our first child together.
Three weeks later Selena developed preeclampsia and our daughter, Taylor was still born. So our tears of joy quickly turned into tears of sorrow. I tried to comfort Selena in our lost. But, there was a longing, a despair, a barrenness that only the LORD could remove. If you are a woman and you have experienced a similar situation you know exactly what I am talking about.
But, barrenness is not an emotion or a state of being that only childless women encounter. We all experience different degrees of barrenness along our faith journey. Is there anyone in here who feels barren this morning? …
Anyone who has longed for, prayed for and even been willing to die for an elusive blessing that seemingly will never come their way can identify with and appreciate what it means to be barren.
But unfortunately, sometimes when we are finally blessed we forget what it felt like to be barren … When God finally comes through with our blessing we sometimes forget to thank Him and to thank the people around us who prayed for us. When God takes us from Barrenness to Blessedness some of us develop amnesia. So, let me see if I can help you remember how it felt to be barren …
For those of you who are married do you remember how barren you felt before you were married? How you prayed morning, noon and night that God would send you a spouse. Do you remember all the promises you made to God of what you would do and what you would not do if only God would send you a spouse? Do you remember the resentment you felt as all of your friends were getting married and you could not even find someone decent to date? If you have ever longed to have someone to share life’s journey with you as your God given soul mate then you know what it feels like to be barren.
But, maybe that is not your struggle. Some people are gifted with the ability to be single and have joy with no desire to marry.
But, there are other life challenges that cause us to feel barren …
Do you remember looking for your first job or looking for a job after you had been unemployed for a long time? Do you remember the frustration you felt after going on job interview after job interview? Only to be told no … Do you remember pleading with God not to put you in a situation where you could not take care of yourself and your family? Do you remember seeing people go to work that you knew were less qualified than you and less hard working than you while you continued to search for employment? To be unemployed with no solid prospects of employment and you have no money will certainly make you feel barren.
I need you to understand that whether it is childlessness, loneliness, joblessness or anything else we desperately seek … if we live long enough we will all experience barrenness. … To be barren is to be put on hold by God while everyone around you is being blessed by that which you desire to have with all your heart.
So it is my assignment today to encourage everyone under the sound of my voice to trust in the LORD and do good and to wait patiently upon the LORD until He turns your barrenness into blessedness.
In our text today we encounter barrenness, which is a common biblical motif. Hannah the wife whom Elkanah loved is barren. Barrenness is a problem frequently encountered by the matriarchs in the book of Genesis which is kind of ironic when you consider the fact that God promised Abraham that his seed would multiply and be as numerous as the stars in the heavens. Abraham loved his wife Sarah but she was barren before God finally opened her womb and blessed them with Isaac.
Isaac loved his wife Rebekah. She comforted him after the death of his mother and he loved her with all his heart but she was barren before God finally opened her womb and blessed them with twins, Esau and Jacob.
Jacob loved his wife Rachel. He loved Rachel so much that he served her father Laban for seven years to earn her hand in marriage, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. When the seven years were up Jacob demanded Rachel be given to him in marriage but Laban tricked him into marrying her older sister Leah. But, Jacob loved Rachel so much he worked for Laban for another seven years so that he could marry her.