God’s Gifts in Dark Times

 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32 NIV)

I stood at Steven’s bedroom door, watching this now 17-year-old son asleep in a tangle of sheets and limbs. He was six feet tall, needed a shave and sported a mass of shaggy, thick brown hair. I thought about how much I loved this boy.

When Steven was born, we had no idea we would be raising him as an only child. Years of infertility struggles and the loss of our second child left us with a hollow echo of the heart that we feared would never be filled. And yet, when I looked at this sleeping man-child, loved filled every nook and cranny of my heart till I thought it would burst. Still, there was always the wondering what life would have been like had more Jaynes children filled the rooms, scattered their toys, and left handprints on the walls.

“Lord,” I prayed, “You know how much I love children and how I always longed to be a mom to a house full of children. I know your ways are higher than our ways, and that You are my heavenly Father who knows what’s best for me, but God could you show me a purpose behind the pain of those difficult years of longing? You certainly don’t owe me an explanation, but I’d love to have a bit of encouragement today. I’d love a nugget of gold.”

Standing in the door frame, watching the rhythmic rise and fall of Steven’s steady breathing, God’s Word washed over me.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

“Is that You, Lord?” I asked. “Is that my nugget of gold?”

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The words washed over me again like a spring rain on parched ground, and my breath caught. It was if the Holy Spirit illuminated Steven like a lone actor on the stage. Steven … my one and only son. For the first time in my life I truly grasped the height, the depth and the breadth of those familiar words. Jesus … God’s one and only Son.

Yes, I have a one and only son. I love many people in this world, but none enough to sacrifice my only son. And yet God loved me that much. He loved you that much. He loved us enough to sacrifice His one and only Son in order to make eternal life with Him possible.

All through those years of infertility and loss, Satan, the enemy, taunted me with words of doubt. God doesn’t love you, he’d say. If He loved you, He’d give you what you asked for. He doesn’t love you. You can’t trust Him with your heart.

And yet, at that moment standing in Steven’s door frame, I realized just how much God did love me. He had shone the light of His love on the enemy’s lie and revealed the truth.

With tears spilling down my cheeks, I thanked God for helping me understand His great love — for giving me a living, breathing daily reminder of that love every time I looked at my boy. If that was the only purpose behind the years of infertility and loss of a child, then that was enough.

The Bible says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).What does God really mean by “all things?” Most likely He means all things — the good, the bad and the ugly. In every dark circumstance of life, I believe that there is a nugget of gold or a hidden treasure just waiting to be discovered. However, for that to happen, we must look beyond the dirt, push it aside, and search beneath the surface.

Is it easy? No. Is it messy? Usually. It is worth it? Always.

Has there been a trial or loss in your life? If so, I wonder if God has a valuable treasure hidden beneath the surface of the pain, just waiting to be discovered. Do you trust Him enough to push the dirt aside and see?

Let’s Pray
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me so much that You gave Your only Son so that I could receive eternal life the moment I believed in Him. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
You know, it brings tears to my eyes every time I think of that day standing in Steven’s doorframe. How about you? Was there a particular time when you knew that you knew just how much God loves you?

Perhaps it came on the heals of a difficult situation? Perhaps it came during a time of joy? Think about that today. Praise God for that today. Remember.

I’d love to hear about your glory moment. In one sentence, join me on and share it with your GiGs. Here’s how we’ll start…One day I was reminded of God’s love for me when…

Want More?
Today’s devotion was taken from the GiGs new book, Trusting God. To download a free excerpt, watch a video, or order, click over to the bookstore page.

 

12 Responses to God’s Gifts in Dark Times

  1. Tanya February 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Sharon,
    Thank you so much for this post. I am struggling with the fact that I only have one child as well. I, like you, struggled with infertility to have my son, but wanted more. It’s not happening and I’ve thought of all kinds of reasons why I’m not having more. I’m thankful for your perspective and the comfort your words of wisdom bring to me. God does love me, he gave me ONE happy, healthy son! Thank you!

  2. Delia February 28, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Dear Sharon,
    Thank you for your writing today. I have a little different story, but
    One day I was reminded of God’s love for me when…I was driving home, when a boy 17yrs old took his eyes off the road and hit me head on. The EMS thought I was dead at first. I survived and was released from the hospital 3 months later. I have worked hard to get back to the point I am now. I want desparately to go back to the Career I love which is a Nurse. That career was wiped away from me on that day. Because it’s been 10 years, no one will hire me because of no current work experience. I am looking hard, but can’t find my gold nugget yet. Please pray for me. Love, DeeAnn

  3. Cammi February 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    Sharon,
    Thank you so much for your post today. I have been struggling since 2005 with infertility and have no children as the result. Even though I struggle, God keeps showing me he has other plans for me. I often wonder why I can’t conceive, but after reading your post and a friend confiding in me about her infertility struggle recently I know God has lead me on the journey I have been on to be where I am today. To tell and share my struggle with other s who need comfort, but most of all share God’s amazing love!
    Cammi

  4. Mia February 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    Sharon,
    Thanks so much for sharing.
    I myself am an only child . Both my parents were also only children as was my childhood companion my beloved dog Rosie.
    My heart’s desire was to be a wife and mom ……having quints sounded awesome.
    Well when I was about 40 I was still single and had a hysrtecomy. About the time of my surgery , I was watching a program about critically ill babies. God spoke to me “i spared you this pain.” I remained single not by choice..but went about the LORD’s business working for Billy Graham Evangelsitic Association for 26 years, caring for my parents at the end of their lives. Two months after my Mom’s home going I met the loveo f my life online in August of 2008. We met face to face in Oct for the first time . My Joe right at the airport when we saw eachother for the first time asked me to marry him. I said yes and we were married the Sunday before Christmas -12/21/08. I became notonly a step mom to 4 young men but a grandma to 4 grandchildren. During my time of singleness I became auntie to many children of friends . Yesterday I was able to reachout to Justina who had a broken heart after breaking up with a boyfriend. I was there able to encourage her and help her see she is ok and the best is yet to comre. Godf has made up for that which I could not have . He is so very amazing.
    Thankyou and blessings to you for sharing with us.
    Because of Him., Mia

  5. linda February 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    Sharon,
    your message hit home .I was not infertilty but my only son that I had at the age of 17 was a hit and run.He was a veg..it was so hard to see my son go through surgeries and rehab and learning how to do everything all over again. but God is good because he restored most of my son..My son is 32 yrs old now he lives with me but he is working 12hrs a week in a public place ..He is going to commit his life to God on march 18 by being baptisted
    because he realizes who gave him this second chance in live.God
    Thank you LindA

  6. Nina February 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Sharon,
    Thank you for your devotional for today. It really touched my heart. My husband and I struggled with infertility. We, too, have one son. We adopted him from China when he was 4 years old. It is an amazing story of God’s love and faithfulness that I love to share anyone who will listen! There were times when I wondered what God was doing…thank you for your insight this morning!
    -Nina

  7. bahati devane February 28, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    Thank you so much for this story. I am expecting my first some in July after many heartaches. I was going to start IVF this month, but praise be to God he was conceived naturally. I am so honored I talk to my baby every day and.sing to Jim everynight. Godbless!

    • Sharon February 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

      What great news! I’m praising God with you!

  8. Lisa February 29, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    Dear Sharon – Your devotional today hit me as no other, and although I never struggled with infertility, I miscarried the first at around 4 1/2 months. Soon after I had 2 boys, 13 months apart. At the age of seventeen, our youngest was killed in a car accident. Our world fell apart, and without the support of our gracious Savior we would have been completely lost. When you asked what event made me really understand the great love God has for us, I think about how my love for my now only son fills me to bursting and I know I could NEVER sacrifice him for anyone. So…that’s how I know how much God loves us. It’s almost inconcievable, and I am so thankful for it.

  9. Deb February 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    Sharon,
    I too struggle with just one child. He is an amazing blessing and we have so much fun. He has prayed for a sibling for years, I know what is it like to have siblings and desire it for him. We tried foster care, it was hard and took us forever to get through the process. How do you know when you are to keep persevering or you just can’t take “no” for an answer?

  10. Danielle February 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Dear Sharon,

    I struggled with infertility for 3 years before I became pregnant with our first child. When I wwas 24 weeks pregnant, my water broke and our daughter was born at 1 lb 8 oz and 12 inches long. After a 3 month stay at the hospital, collapsed lungs, bilateral grade 2 brain hemmorages and a list of other obstacles, our daughter was well enough to come home on oxygen. On that day, I knew how much God loved me:) even though we didn’t know that she would even live, she did! She is now a perfectly healthy 4 and a half year old girl who will be entering kindergarten in the fall! God is amazing, He can do anything and He loves me! 2.5 years later we were blessed with another baby, a little boy!

  11. Andrea April 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Sharon,
    I knew how much God loved me when I was being emotionally rejected by my husband for wanting a relationship with Jesus. I was also being socially rejected by a close friend. My “world” was dark and I was given the golden nugget of truth from Jesus after a sleepless night of crying out to HIM. “I love you unconditionally”, He said to me. It ment that I did not need to fear rejection. I did not realize this truth until that day.

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