When we think about barrenness, there is a natural repulsion. There is a sadness. Barrenness means that someone or something is not fertile. A woman who is barren cannot have children. A barren wasteland is a place where nothing can grow. There is nothing good that comes to mind when we think of the word “barren”.
However, from barrenness comes a desperation. Many of the great heroes of the Bible came from women who were declared “barren”. Think about Isaac, Jacob, Samuel, Samson, and John the Baptist. In nearly each of these cases, the barren woman or man came before God in desperation for children.
Barrenness creates in us a desperation when otherwise we would be passive. Barrenness brings us to the end of ourselves and makes us realize that without the help of God, we cannot produce fruit.
I wonder how many of us have experienced spiritual barrenness but lack the desperation for change. Am I consistently leading people to Christ? Am I consistently discipling those around me? Is my life bringing people closer to Jesus? We refer to this as fruit. Barrenness is the lack of fruit. It is true that so often we are satisfied with barren lives spiritually. However, this lack of fruit should cause desperation within us.
We must come to God humbly and persistently, seeking the help that only He can give. Just as some of the great heroes of the Bible were born out of a barren situation, some of the greatest movements of God can and will be born out of barren hearts made whole by the power of God.
Isaiah 43:19 says, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
Where are you at today? May you be challenged to go to God with desperation to see His hand at work in your life.