No Good Thing: A Devotional on Psalm 84:11

In Blog, Devotional by Sarah Fern8 Comments

It had happened before. A friend of a friend has a friend who is pregnant and thinking of adoption. When I got the email a year ago this week I was cautious. My heart was guarded like I had taught it to be.

Hello, where are you all in your adoption process? Have you been matched with a birth mom? My mom knows someone who is thinking of giving her baby up for adoption.

I contacted my husband and asked if he thought it was okay to say what we usually say. “We’re open to whatever God wants. We’ll take it as far as He will allow.” My husband quickly said yes. Fast-forward to today. I’m listening to my son playing upstairs in his crib, his final adoption court date just a few months away. His little eight-month mind and heart only knows love from us, his mommy and daddy.

For years we waited on the gift we felt God had called us to: parenthood. But instead we were given the gift of infertility. I call it a gift because that’s what it is. Elisabeth Elliot, the wife of slain missionary Jim Elliot said this of her gift of 40+ years of singleness, “But we do not choose our gifts, remember? We are given them by a divine Giver who knows the end from the beginning, and wants above all else to give us the gift of Himself.” That’s how we chose to believe. And in our almost 14 years of infertility, my husband and I have faithfully (not perfectly) been able to serve God wherever He has taken us. We’ve had a joyous time of loving and serving our Lord in the midst of broken promises, disappointments, and the heartache of failed adoptions.

I’ll never forget reading Psalm 84 one day and coming to verse 11, “For the Lᴏʀᴅ God is a sun and shield; the Lᴏʀᴅ will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” My heart wrestled for a moment on the last words, “no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” But God, haven’t we walked uprightly before you? Haven’t we been faithful to the call before us? Then I noticed the word that I almost skipped over––good. I realized I want to think that God’s “good” looks the same as my limited idea of good. But we know that His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8–9). He is doing far bigger and greater things in and through our lives for His glory than we could ever see.

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We may not know on this side of heaven why God gives us certain gifts that we do not always see as good. But we can rest assured like the psalmist did thousands of years ago, that our unchanging God “is a sun and shield,” He will give “grace and glory,” and “no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” His good may not look like our good but what a comfort to know that His good is better than ours could ever be.

About the Author

Sarah Fern

Sarah Fern is the content strategist for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. She is a graduate of Word of Life Bible Institute and has her B.S. in Business from Liberty University. Sarah resides in southern New Jersey with her husband, Martin, and their son, Judah.


  1. I will never forget your journey. How it came about and all the daily intricate details Thankful I got to observe and witness first hand the plans God had for you and Martin. I recall clearly my conversations with all those involved. Judah truly is gift from above and I’m blessed beyond words for using me in a little part of it. We love you all 😘 Tony & Lynn Wilson


    So happy for you & your husband!! God’s perfect timing!

  3. Hi Sarah,
    Such a beautiful and encouraging testimony to the faithfulness of God.
    That is why He is infinite and we are finite… May God forever bless you, Martin and Judah.

    My husband and I have to grown daughters who live away from home but I am always looking for ways to make their room a bit more cozy (for whenever they visit) and there is a wall in their room that I wanted to put something there…thanks for being my inspiration – Psalm 84:11 I will make a plaque of that verse and hang there.
    We live in the Bahamas.

  4. Judah is incredibly blessed with parents who so longed to be parents and now have the joy of his life being one with theirs! May the Lord give you wisdom as you train up your son in the ways of the Lord. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

  5. Could you please tell me how long the adoption process took? Do you mind telling me how old you and your husband are? My son and daughter-in-law have been waiting 10 years adoption from China . They are now sure it will not happen. They are now both 44 years old, so they feel they are too old to seek any other.adoption avenue . Do you.have any insight or suggestions for them?

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