If you are familiar with Psalm 127, you may know what comes after the verse I quoted in my previous post.
"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." Psalm 127: 3-5
These verses have troubled me throughout my struggle with infertility. I could never wrap my head around them. I have thought about them a great deal, especially recently. I asked the Lord to please give me insight into them and help me to understand.
"...children a reward from Him" I have struggled most with this part. Children are a reward it says. So am I being punished? If I had led a better life, been more righteous, more deserving would I have children? I have been taught that you must interpret scripture with scripture. Do any of us "deserve" children? No. God's word is clear: "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23 and the "wages of sin is death" Romans 6:23. Elsewhere it says, "all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" Isaiah 64:6 and "God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one." Psalm 53:3. There is no one worthy, no one who is righteous on their own, no one who "deserves" anything other than death from God. If it was up to us to be worthy of having children, no one would have any. Our righteousness is from Christ. In Him, I am found "not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes through God and is by faith" Phil 3:9 So I can't earn God's reward, favor, or blessing. It is God's grace. "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights" James 1:17. The Lord causes "his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous" Matthew 5:45. We don't do anything to deserve it or not deserve it. The account of Zechariah and Elizabeth even more clearly speaks to this. It says, "Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years" Luke 1:6-7. They were "blameless" and yet they were not rewarded, experiencing years of barrenness. But as many of you know that is not the end of their story. In time, Elizabeth did become pregnant and gave birth to the forerunner of our Messiah. They were direct participants in a miracle, in their own personal lives and in God's plan for the world. As I thought about this, it finally hit me. It is about timing. God's perfect timing. Right now I wonder why I am not receiving this "reward," gift, blessing, whatever you want to call it. I wonder if I am being punished, and believe me, I have done much to warrant that punishment. But when I look at the whole story, I don't question why Elizabeth was barren or think she was less rewarded or blessed. In fact, I think she was incredibly blessed by her years of waiting. God knit together a miracle in her womb - John the Baptist - who prepared the way for Jesus as he went throughout the land preaching repentance. As I look at other accounts of infertility in the Bible, do I think Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, or Hannah were less blessed, less rewarded. No I do not. Each of them experienced years of barrenness and each of them saw God perform a miracle in their lives. They knew it was God, everyone else knew it was God, and He received all the glory. But it happened in God's way and timing. Perhaps they too questioned why God was withholding this blessing from their lives. But in time, God's perfect plan was revealed and they witnessed God doing a mighty work in their lives. They received their heritage from the Lord.
We can only do as Hannah did, "I was pouring out my soul to the LORD" 1 Sam 1:15 and continue to pour our hearts out to God, depending on Him to build our houses and give us the gift of children.