I recently started running again, and I was quickly reminded that it is a form of exercise I like in theory more than reality. It's a love/hate relationship because I truly do like it when I'm good at it, but right now, being a year out of practice, I stink. I'm trying to push through, and I've set a goal to work my way back up to a 5K hopefully by next month.
I think one of the reasons I'm struggling right now is the boredom factor. I run outside with no iPod or music entertainment of any sort, making it incredibly easy to focus on the shortness of breath and pain in my side rather than anything positive. But the other day something broke through the tedium. It wasn't a vision, but it was something I envisioned as clearly as if I was seeing a photograph in front of me. It was like all of the sudden I had this image of babies and children outside on a blanket, bunched together for a photo shoot. They didn't look at all alike, but every one of them was smiling. As the picture floated in my head, I felt God telling me, "These are the children of promise."
I remember years ago on the first anniversary of September 11th seeing a magazine with a front cover spread of the babies who had been born after that date. I remember thinking they were a dual symbol of grief and hope. They were reminders of so much that was lost, yet they were also beautiful pictures of life after the tragedy. "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Psalm 27:13
This is the closest thing I can think of to compare what I saw. The picture had so many kids, and one of them was mine-the baby we haven't yet adopted, but who we know God has already chosen for us. The others were the children of my friends who walked this road with me. The kids didn't know it, but what they all shared in common was the fact that they all had a brother or sister in heaven who they would never know. They had no idea how special they were; they had no idea that they were the children of God's promise.
I doubt that photograph will ever be taken physically, but I feel the truth of the image is certain. I don't know when or how, but I believe that God will provide for each of us, in His perfect way, and in His flawless timing. That does not mean the road will be all sunshine from this moment on. God hasn't promised that. But He has promised in Psalm 30:5 that "Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning." I've already experienced this shout of joy in many ways, but I don't think it is complete. God has put on my heart the desire for another child, and I believe He wants to fulfill this in my life. I'm looking forward to seeing His promise play out, one beautiful child at a time.