Apr 4, 2012

Proverbs 3:5 --- A Reflection on Hagar

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding -- Proverbs 3:5

Easy to say. Hard to do.

How do I trust the Lord with all of my heart and still be a person of action? I truly believe God puts resources in our path to help us achieve His ends. He doesn't set two paths in front of so we can make the wrong choice. Sometimes two paths are just two paths. Neither one right. Neither one wrong.
But am I leaning on my own understanding instead of His by choosing to go forward with medical interventions?
I recently revisited the story of Abraham and Sarah (one of many tales of infertility in the Bible). God promised them a child. Despite years of infertility and Sarah's advanced age, God promised a miracle.
Sarah so desperately wanted a child that she was unwilling to trust the Lord. Instead, she leaned on her own understanding and asked her husband Abraham to lay with Hagar, her servant. Sarah did not allow God's will to be done in His time and instead placed her own timing above His plan. Hagar did indeed become pregnant and Sarah became hateful and bitter. Her Hagar nearly destroyed her.
Is this comparable to a decision to pursue IVF? To consider donor eggs? Are these medical treatments our modern way of using Hagar?
I truly believe God uses medicine to accomplish His will. These brilliant doctors and scientists are part of His plan. Every child conceived in this fashion is a child of God and perfect in His eyes. He knew every hair on their head before they were born. These children are "natural" and are of God.
But, how do I lean not on my own understanding? How do I ensure every move Casey and I make is a move in Him?
When I don't know what else to do, I pray.
The heavens didn't part. A bush didn't burn. An angel did not appear. I did not climb a ladder to heaven. I didn't get a clear answer to my questions. I didn't get a response to my doubts. What I did get was a sense of peace.

Proverbs 3:6 commands us to adknowledge Him and submit to Him and He will direct our path.  I believe peace came because my prayers to Him adknowledged that this is His decision not mine.  He isn't putting up big arrows.  No "Do Not Enter" signs are on any of the paths in front of us.  But I know in my heart that God is directing our path.  God is present.  God is walking with us.  God knows what is on our hearts.  God knows what we need.
This morning I am going to meet with the doc to get our test results and complete the "Clomid Challenge." Assuming no great changes in diagnosis, Casey and I are planning to go forward with further medical treatments. We plan to try IVF at least once and see what happens.
I don't know if this is my Hagar and one day I'll regret it. Perhaps Sarah prayed and felt at peace with her decision as well.
But for now, I am at peace. I have faith. I believe in a God who can move mountains. I believe in a God of miracles. And I believe miracles can come through medicine.

Proverbs 3:5-6 

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.


  1. Well said, as a believer I have been struggling with what I should and shouldn't be doing for years as far as praying and waiting for him to heal me or taking medical steps on my own.

  2. I'll say this, by the time we did IVF I was 100% comfortable with the choice and knew we were doing the right thing for us. I know it is not what God calls everyone to do. God calls many to adopt or remain child free. But for us, after lots of prayer and reflection IVF felt right.

    Don't move forward down a path until it feels right, but know that not making a choice is still a choice. Inaction is a decision in itself.