Russell Moore shares a time when God taught him and his wife many lessons during a “time of profound weakness.” The couple was facing infertility, and had experienced many miscarriages. It was so crippling, Moore recalls, that he found himself “despairing.”
During that time, Moore says it became very easy to sin. He couldn’t bring himself to rejoice with friends who were getting pregnant and having babies. He constantly asked God, “why not us?”
Here he was, Moore recalls, praying about a “deep desire of my heart. And God just didn’t seem to be answering.” Looking back, he realizes he was “too theologically sophisticated” at the time to express his anger at God.
Then one night, after yet another miscarriage, a mentor gently rebuked Moore. “I don’t know why God is allowing you to walk through this particular challenge. But I know that God’s primary purpose for you is Romans 8:29: To conform you into the image of Christ that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And so whatever it is that is happening providentially in your life is for that purpose.” Moore said the rebuke was timely and helpful.
Eventually, Moore and his wife adopted two one-year-old boys from Russia. “We never would have pursued that if we had not been through that time of weakness and that time of infertility,” Moore says.
Not only would they not have their two oldest sons if they hadn’t struggled with infertility, they also would not have learned the lessons God taught them through that time. Particularly: “What it means to be adopted into the family of God, and what it means to care about the vulnerable people who are on the periphery of our vision.”
Now Moore can see the value of the lessons God was teaching them during that time of infertility. Had he and his wife been able to have children right away, Moore confesses he would have seen his children as “an expected part of my life.” But God knew “I needed to be humbled.” Moore sees how the principle of Deuteronomy 8:3 was being worked into his life.
Sometimes God makes us hunger for the things we want so he can show us that we must live by “every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
You’ll want to watch to the end of the video, when Moore shares part of their adoption story and the prayer journal entry that helped shape his conviction that God is always listening to our prayers. Not only does he listen, but he answers in ways that are better than we could ever imagine or think could happen.
If you’ve ever known the agony of infertility or the ache of unanswered prayer, Moore’s testimony will give you hope.