Barren Places

Guest Post by Mrs. Brandi Stutts

On February 28, 2021 I will turn 40 years old. More often than not, I find myself asking “Am I too old for this?” When I’m shopping for clothes, and even shoes, I may try on the “oh, so cute top or bottom” and then that’s when the question runs thru my head “Brandi, are you too old?” In much the same way a similar question daunts me when God asks me to do something for Him. “Are you done with me?” or “Am I good enough?”

I think of my age and all the things I’ve been able to do for the Lord in my life. I’m not old, but my body definitely makes me aware that I’m not young anymore. I’ve sat under some wonderful preachers and teachers. My husband and I were over the youth at our church for 16+ years. We’ve attended Youth Worker’s Conference, been to Youth Camp, taken students to Youth Conference, taught so many Bible studies on Wednesday nights, attended Leadership Classes and I’m sure there’s something I’m missing somewhere, but you get my point. God has used me.

I’ve been blessed to be part of God’s ministry, but just over 2 years ago we resigned being over the youth. It was time to do this. I will mention during that year my one and only child graduated high school, and I also gave up singing with our worship team. I came to a halt in every part of my life, except my public job. I came to a place in my life where I felt barren.

“But Sarai was barren, she had no child.” Genesis 11:30

I think of Sarai when she was barren. She wanted a child to take care of and tend to. A child could carry Abraham’s name on. She wanted something that made her feel needed and necessary. I know when you read the story in the Bible it seems like there was a lot of drama going on in this story, but she had a desire and felt like circumstances were all wrong for it to come to pass for her.

As a Christian we sometimes run across barren times in our lives and we want to feel needed and necessary. Instead, we feel empty and the circumstances around us make us feel like our time is up. I know sometimes when God gives me a small task of being a witness to someone or teaching at a different place, after I’m done with the work He gave me, I tell myself “ok, that’s done”. As if that’s all for me, I’m just going to go fall in a black hole in the Earth because God is done, and He has no more for me to do for Him.

Just like God had plans for Sarai I realize there’s so much work to be done and when God says something is going to happen, even if we are walking in a barren place in life, it’s going to happen. In Genesis 21:2 it reads “For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.” So even though my age or whatever circumstance I may be facing may not fit into the way I think things should be, I have to trust that God has a time and place for things to happen and there is always going to be things for me to do to further His ministry.

Not long after God gave me this opportunity with Rays of Sunshine and then gave me the word barren, one of our Sunday School lessons at church allowed me to run across another scripture. In Isaiah 54:1-3 it reads: “Sing, O barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord. Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings. Do not spare; Lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. “For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited.

There’s more for us to do so open your doors up for God to use you again. I know this to be true because not long after I gave up everything in ministry, I moved into teaching the Adult Sunday School class at church and I’ve also found new “endeavors” (as some have labeled them) with my public job, that I’m interested in stepping into soon. I’m spreading my table more and adding more chairs for the work God has for me. Even when you walk through the barren seasons in life, God’s not done with you!

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