This story touched me as a husband and father; I’m sure it will impact your heart if you are a wife and mother.

For Sarah Cochran, infertility brought sadness that took root deep in her heart.

For years, Sarah prayed to God, “I will do whatever you want me to.” She had fallen in love with Tom the summer after high school graduation, and three years later, they were married. She felt blessed and happy to join him in his call to ministry.

But one thing afflicted her. She often jumped out of bed, screaming with abdominal pain or bending over while strolling through a store or driving. Doctors diagnosed her with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and Sarah soon learned that conceiving children would be difficult. Bearing children became a goal to be achieved to make the physical pain worthwhile. Sarah began to withdraw from people. Symptoms of depression began to appear as she and Tom pursued fertility treatments month after month without any result.

One morning, after years of trying to conceive and yet another failed pregnancy test, Sarah locked herself inside their bathroom and screamed. She repeatedly banged her head against the wall. Sarah vomited out of pain–caused by nausea from the fertility drugs and her disgust and rage. She cried out to God to let her die. Her prayers felt as though they bounced off the ceiling, mocking her every thought. How could she have faith in a God that would not heal? She was weary of the pain and tired of praying for others, doubting that God even cared. She became cynical and bitter. She had built her life around a God who cared, but she could see no evidence of that care in her situation.

One morning, as questions swirled in their minds, Tom sat down in the bedroom, while Sarah was still lying in bed, and began to play his guitar and sing: “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love…the Lord is good to all, and He has compassion on all that He has made. As far as the east is from the west, that’s how far He has removed our transgressions from us…”[1] At that moment, they could feel God’s presence in the room.

A seed of faith and hope began to take root in Sarah’s heart. It expanded and grew over the next decade. God was answering Sarah’s prayer: “God, I will do whatever you want me to.” Sarah realized God was asking if she meant it. He did care for her, but did she care about God’s purpose, His plans, and His people, or was she entirely focused only on her desires and comfort? God wanted her to surrender her full attention, plans for her future and family, and aspirations for education and a career. Could she submit her entire life to God?

After Sarah said, “Yes, Lord, I’ll do whatever you want me to do,” God called Sarah to return to school and become a pastor. She now says confidently, “God’s grace is sufficient to forgive my sins. He is sufficient for me. God does care, though He does say ‘no’ sometimes. God’s perspective is not our perspective. His is bigger and better!

You may not have gone through what Sarah experienced, but no doubt, there have been times in your life when you prayed, even begged God, to give you something you thought you needed to bring you satisfaction and joy in living for Him. You saw how others were having their prayers answered, and the happiness it brought them. It made you wonder if God was ignoring you or that; perhaps, you were asking for the wrong thing even though it was a legitimate request. I experienced that but found out later why God led me the way He did.

You remember what King Solomon said about trusting the LORD completely, and don’t depend on what you think you know. With every step you take, think about what He wants, and He will help you go the right way.[2] Solomon also stated that you may have plans in your heart of where you want to go, but the LORD will plan out your steps to get there.[3]

The prophet Jeremiah seemed to be having the same problem as Sarah in finding God’s will for his life. So, the LORD told him: “I have good plans for you. I have no intention on hurting you. I plan to give you hope and a good future.”[4]

And the Apostle Paul put it this way: “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love Him. These are the people God chose, because that was His plan.”[5] I know this to be true because if I had not surrendered my ideas and accepted God’s plan, I would not be sending you this Serendipity at the age of 82. I wanted to find a straight path to reach my goal, but God took me down a winding road because there was so much more for me to learn before He gave me what I wanted. Remember, even if you give up on God, He will never give up on you.[6] – Dr. Robert R Seyda

[1] Ord, Graham. (1998) The Lord is Gracious and Compassionate. Vineyard Music.

[2] Proverbs 3:5-6

[3] Ibid. 16:9

[4] Jeremiah 29:11

[5] Romans 8:28

[6] Philippians 1:6

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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