The “Hope for a Baby” Tree

His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22–23

After wrapping the tree with clear twinkle lights, I tied pink and blue bows on its branches and christened it our “Hope for a Baby” Christmas tree. My husband and I had been waiting for a baby through adoption for more than four years. Surely by Christmas!

Every morning I stopped at the tree and prayed, reminding myself of God’s faithfulness. On December 21 we received the news: no baby by Christmas. Devastated, I paused by the tree that had become a symbol of God’s provision. Was God still faithful? Was I doing something wrong?

At times, God’s apparent withholding results from His loving discipline. And other times God lovingly delays to renew our trust. In Lamentations, the prophet Jeremiah describes God’s correction of Israel. The pain is palpable: “He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver” (3:13). Through it all, Jeremiah also expresses ultimate trust in God’s faithfulness: “His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (vv. 22–23).

I left the tree standing well beyond Christmas and continued my morning prayer. At last, on Easter weekend, we received our baby girl. God is always faithful, though not necessarily on our timeline nor always according to our desires.

My children are now in their thirties, but each year I set up a miniature version of the tree, reminding myself and others to hope in God’s faithfulness.

Dear God, help me trust You today even when I can’t see what You are doing. You are faithful.

The best reason for hope is God’s faithfulness.

INSIGHT

The book of Lamentations expresses the grief of Jerusalem following the 587 bc invasion of Babylon. With her walls broken, her children exiled, and survivors living in the rubble of better times, it bares the soul of a once-proud people.

In its original Hebrew language, the book is composed of five chapters of carefully constructed poems. Its finely polished composition provides literary relief to the overwhelming confusion of a nation that has lost control of its own emotions and destiny. The only hope left is in the belief that above the clouds of this dark night of a nation’s soul, there is a God who has in the past shown that His mercies and love will never end.

Mart DeHaan

By |2018-12-10T16:26:42-04:00December 13th, 2018|