Posted by: Kara Luker | November 18, 2022

God is not withholding good

Have you ever had a thought or feeling running unnoticed in the background of your life, not demanding much attention, and then all of a sudden, something external presses on it and suddenly it is right up in your face?

Well, that happened to me recently and revolves around decisions made several years ago. The backstory starts with John and I being fortunate enough to have our sweet baby Chase after getting married. Between my age, which was on the older side for bearing babies, and my control issues, I felt a need to know pretty quickly whether we were going to try for another one. John was willing (for my sake), but felt the financial weight of providing for another kid. I was willing but was concerned about my ability to manage two very small human beings with my limited energy, and also didn’t want to be so consumed by my own family that I couldn’t help others. 

Seemingly, things were leaning in the “against” direction, but there was still a lingering desire; a sense that our family wasn’t quite complete. So I wrestled down the competing voices in my mind and took the whole thing to God in prayer. While there was no audible voice from heaven, I felt a peace descend about letting go of another possible pregnancy. Joy followed. It felt so right. Of course we would adopt at some point; that was always the plan. Besides, we already had a very full, recently-blended household with a baby, two teens, a dog and a tortoise… certainly enough to keep our hands and hearts full! So before Chase was a year old, surgery was scheduled to prevent further pregnancies and that was that.

Back in the day

Until a couple years passed. Chase was in a more manageable place, Cole had left for the Navy, Madison was hardly ever home and we didn’t have pets anymore. I suddenly found myself ready – really ready – for another baby. Except we had already closed that door and John quickly shot down my suggestion to reverse the surgery. Go figure. So we started moving forward with the fostering process, which turned out to be a six month journey that stopped short of us being approved. We were given a yellow light and by the time we got the green light, neither of us felt a peace about moving forward. In the end we hosted a few sets of kids temporarily through a great organization called Safe Families, which scratched the itch to help other families and proved to be a helpful reality check, but left me without a sense of resolve for my deeper wants and expectations.

As the years have gone by with Chase getting older – and us too, expanding our family doesn’t seem as realistic or appealing. So I’ve been left with a slight sadness that Chase is basically an only child, a conversation that feels unfinished, and a mild regret that we didn’t just have one more back when we had the chance. But it’s all been under the surface with very little conscious thought. That is until our friends stepped into the temporary care of a little girl who might, contrary to the way the program normally works, become a long term part of their family. It’s not that I want to be the caregiver for this child, as sweet and magical as our interactions with her have been. It is that this external circumstance pressed on this unresolved thing inside, squeezing it right up in my face, making me acknowledge the nagging sense that either I missed the boat or God failed to show up in some way. Which was uncomfortable, but a gift to be sure.

I took it to prayer, wielding two of my best weapons – surrender and praise – which lined me up beautifully to grasp the truth I needed to hear; one that hit my heart like a game-changing revelation: God is not withholding any good thing from me. I repeated it a few times, chewing it over and getting excited, “God is not withholding any good thing from me.” He could have spoken loud and clear if his best for us was having another baby. He could have cleared the path for us to foster and/or adopt or given us a peace when we got the go-ahead. Even if we got everything wrong – misunderstood him in prayer, forced a decision before it was time to make, made an entirely wrong decision or one based in fear, or didn’t pursue something we should have – he can still make right what we didn’t. Because he is the God of second chances. And third. And fourth. And fiftieth. 

While that doesn’t mean I can prance back to my baby-bearing years and make a different decision, it does mean that I can let go of my doubts and regrets. Because it was – and is – his intention to meet my needs and fulfill my desires… abundantly, richly, fully. While I might be fixated on a certain way (or time) that needs to happen, he grasps with a perfect wisdom that is often far beyond my understanding the way and timing that would best accomplish that, not only for my good but for those around me too. So if I can let go of the attachment to my ideas, no matter how good they are, and spend my time embracing where he has me and delighting in who he is, I am positioned in a place of trust to receive the beautiful things he would love to give, knowing that he is also protecting me from anything less. This frees me up to live wholeheartedly here and now, with a heart that is deeply satisfied and a life that glorifies him. I can’t think of a better way to live.

This all feels very personal, but I’m sharing it in the hope that it will encourage those who need it. Maybe you have been waiting for a desire to be fulfilled and have felt like you missed the boat or God failed you in some way. Maybe it seems like there is now no way for you to see its fulfillment. Or maybe you see people around you experiencing what you desperately want, pressing hard on your unmet desire and waving it in your face. But I am certain that if you will take it to God, asking him to help you to surrender your sorrow, regret, disappointment, fear, doubt or whatever nagging torment you are carrying – as well as the way or timing you have determined the desire needs to be fulfilled, he will tenderly hold your heart and meet its deepest needs in the best way possible, satisfying your heart abundantly, richly, fully. Because he is not withholding any good thing from you. He will never withhold any good thing from you. Blessings to you, friend.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:3-4


Responses

  1. grateful for your voice in my life, buddy… wow!

    • Right back at you! Still chewing over the conversations we had when you were here.

  2. I so needed to read this. Thank you for listening to the whisperings of the Spirit and sharing these words. Thank you for being a balm for my healing. I know God put you in my life and I’m so grateful.

    • I can’t tell you how encouraging that is to hear. I am always so happy to see your name in my inbox and am very grateful that God connected us!

  3. Truth. And all the more meaningful because you’ve shared it from personal experience, Kara.

    • Thank you Mitch! It’s a vulnerable thing to put yourself out there sometimes, you know? I bet you do know 😊

  4. Sent from my iPhone

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    • Hi Eleanor! If you left a comment, I couldn’t read it. 😬


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