Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who bore me these? I was bereaved and barren; I was exiled and rejected. Who brought these up? I was left all alone, but these–where have they come from?’ (Isaiah 49:21 NIV).
There is a phase in every Christian’s life that can be termed as a barren phase. In spite of every effort to grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord, a Christian in the barren phase of life sees no growth. He feels no closeness to the Lord in spite of reading the Bible, spending time in prayer and attending Church. The Christian life becomes like tasteless food. The joy of former days seem like a lost dream that will never return and the years of the barren phase seem to have gone waste.
Yet in God’s plan for the Christian life, these barren phases do yield a lasting return. It is during these barren phases that some of the real growth in a Christian’s life takes place. Yet it cannot be seen by outward observation. The growth process continues within in a steady a manner though the progress is slow and silent. But the Christian never realizes all this. He becomes sad and dejected because of his apparent fruitlessness.
And then God acts. When His work is done during this barren phase, God lifts the cloak that shrouded His silent work in the heart of a Christian. Then joy and surprise swells and erupts within. The Christian will find it difficult to believe that his barren phase had produced fruit in abundance. The devastating loneliness that marked the barren phase will give way immediately to the sweet consolations of joyous company of the children to whom he gave birth to in barrenness!