What We're Owed

Adam Navis

READ : Genesis 20:1-18

For the Lord had closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech. (v. 18)

I would pray every day that God would allow us to get pregnant. Every month that passed gave extra weight to my prayers. Unlike Abraham, who lied to Abimelech, I trusted God. I did not lean on myself. Or did I?

I am troubled by the idea of God opening or closing a womb. But I take the Bible seriously and time and again it says he does. Since infertility remains quite common, I cannot dismiss this in the same way I ignore most levitical laws: as culturally bound (like tabernacle measurements) and outdated (like dealing with leprosy).

I always knew that God is in control, but controlling my fertility seemed too intimate. God could control my job, finances, home, even my relationships, but not my ability to have children. This seemed too closely tied to what it meant to be a man (and for my wife, to be a woman). If I couldn't be a father, then who was I supposed to be?

This forced me to ask myself, “What does God owe me?” I had taken it as a given that I should be able to have children, so much so that I incorporated it into my identity. Yet there is no guarantee of this, just as there is no guarantee of our next breath. We depend on God for all things, even those we take for granted. Perhaps the problem is feeling that God owes us anything.


Lord, thank you for every gift you give.