Here’s one I wrote a while ago, that has been rescued after the site crashed…
Worship of idols used to be a lot simpler, there was much greater clarity. A bronze statue, a golden calf, a sacred pole, an altar to a false deity, a beast endowed with holiness by some arbitrary process or decision. You knew where you were. You chose an idol and sacrificed to it. You dedicated time, worship, money; whatever the idol demanded. The pleasure or displeasure of the idol incurred by your actions determined your well-being and success. When Yahweh demanded the removal and destruction of idols back in the day, those idols were clearly identifiable and God’s wrath and His people’s actions had a clear target. (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+12%3A+2-4&version=NRSV)
Idolatry has lost its brazen and in broad daylight quality. Today’s idols masquerade as normal, innocuous, everyday people and objects. Some of them even good things. But all get in the way of relationship with God. Today’s idols demand worship in much subtler forms, are hard to identify and even harder to remove. And yet for our faith to flourish, remove them we must.
So how on earth do you remove the idol that we can so easily make out of the desire to have a child?
I have been wrestling with my idolatry for almost all of my 43 years, with the idol taking greater hold when my fertility became uncertain following traumatic events when I was 17. My now husband’s first declaration of his ‘intentions’ 19 years ago, included proposed names for our children, Tom, Beth and Joshua – so my idol became shared.
Culture and church community often colluded with our idolatry, the desire for a child becoming our focus and purpose. The idol all-consuming and unrelenting in withholding its blessing.
When we asked for prayer regarding our childlessness, the prayers often appeased our idol. Prayers for pregnancy, prophetic (sounding) declarations of when our idols would appear to us, heart felt pleas that our infertility would end.
And within the search for the child idol we found ourselves often remote from God, so our idolatrous quest and worship left us battered and betrayed, empty and isolated. We realised we had to restore God to his rightful place in our lives and place our desire for a child as subject to Him. We had twisted God into becoming a subject of our idol, casting Him in the role of dispenser of children, seeking Him for that purpose, rather than for His glory and the purposes of His kingdom.
The child idol was firmly in place for the first few years as we tried to get pregnant. I wish I could identify the pivotal moment when we decided that we would ask for prayer to help us remain faithful to God rather than asking God to get us pregnant. Many have struggled to understand, those that pray with us often still prioritise the empty whom over the faithful heart.
Banishing the idol and seeking God has not taken away the grief of infertility, it has however enabled us to embrace adoption and fill our home with delightful sons. Banishing the idol and seeking God has enabled us to see our brokenness as a gift to be shared, from which fruitfulness can emerge. It is a great privilege to be traveling alongside David, Lizzie and others to offer our brokenness to seek to equip others to better approach infertility with God in an event that took place in Liverpool on March 17th. http://www.liverpool.anglican.org/lifecallhomeforgood Looking to the future we are seeking to develop further resources and events to support those trying to hold onto faith through the journey of infertility… what could we do that would help you?
Our idol has never lived up to our expectations but our God continues to exceed them.