Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Samson, Samuel, John the Baptist – all were sons of barren women. God makes the barren woman a joyful mother of children. But He does more: He makes those born from the barren the best.

He does the same with the land. When the patriarchs first enter Canaan, there’s a famine, then another, and another, and another. But God makes the barren best, and turns Canaan into a land of milk and honey.

We don’t believe this. We forget. When we’re withered like grass and our strength is dried like a potsherd, we lose hope. We think it will last forever.

It won’t. The God of Sarah, the God of Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth, and Mary is your God. And He says to you: “Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud; for the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous than the sons of the married woman.”

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