I sat in church on a Sunday morning, surrounded by a throng of worshippers.
Tears made their way, once again, in roads down my cheeks, my head telling them to stop and my heart unwilling to listen.
The topic: barren.
The word barren appears in the Bible around 27 times.
It is applied to some of the matriachs of the faith, women who loved and served God and their husbands. Women who followed and obeyed the commands of God.
In Mike and I's reading of scripture, we come across the term barren to describe things like childless wombs, a salty, wasted land.
It comes up in the book of Job 4 times. In a book about sorrow, and loss, and hurt, and wondering why. 4 times!
And then there is 2 Peter 1:8. "For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Do you know what the word barren can also be translated as in this passage? Useless.
And sometimes, in my heart and my mind, I feel all those definitions. Childless. Wasted land. Useless.
Before you go and tell me I'm not those things, hear me out.
I feel them. Sometimes more then others, but the label of barren, childless, wasted land, useless can be used in various capacities to describe who I am right now and where I am in life.
I own them. Sometimes I tell myself that I'm useless, that my purpose in life is nothing right now, or at least nothing significant.
But, and this is a big but, if we look at the people in the Bible who were labelled 'barren', we see a very different existence. Matriachs, mothers of the family of God. Godly people. Successful in their culture. Helpful. They didn't let one little term define them. It was true of them, they were barren, but it wasn't all of what they were.
Today, and every day, we need to choose, by God's grace, to embrace what we are. Barren? Yes. But also: wife. aunt. teacher. worker. house keeper. etc. etc. etc.
We need to own who we are, what God has made us to be, and live fully.
I saw someones facebook status the other day that said "I need to be content not in spite of my circumstances but because of my circumstances." What we have is enough. If it wasn't enough, God would have given us more.
Go. Be fruitful. Fullfill the role God has put you in.