Sunday's message on Jonah 4 was given by our swell "junior pastor," Josh. The main point was that God does not just want us to bring his message to the lost, but he wants us to bring his attitude of mercy to the lost. Two main hindrances to sharing God's heart for the lost are self-righteousness and self-centeredness. Tab suggested that we cultivate a Christ-like compassion for the lost by praying daily this week for one unbeliever in our lives. I want to pray this week for my ultrasound tech at the fertility clinic. (Yes, this is the same lady who I called by the wrong name for months! I called her Wendy, which is not her name, but I'll call her that on my blog. Wendy the Wander...) When I am in a treatment cycle, I see Wendy on a weekly basis, and we usually have plenty of time to chat while I lay on the examining table. I've already heard some of her story, and she obviously knows a big part of mine. I hope to be able to get to know her better and to share my faith with her over the coming months. In the meantime, I'll be praying for God to give me his love for her.
On a side note, as Josh spoke about self-righteousness, he mentioned that we can often have this same attitude toward fellow believers, saying in our hearts that others don't deserve the blessings they receive. I have often been guilty of that in the area of fertility. In my pride, I think that I deserve a child more than others who are pregnant or who have babies. Thankfully, as God has shown me my sin more clearly, I am less prone to think that I merit the gift of children at all, let alone more than others. However, a more subtle form of the same attitude has cropped up lately. I look at those who have been pregnant during the time we have been trying to conceive, and I wonder, "What spiritual quality do they have that I don't yet? What lessons have they learned from God that I still need to learn? If only I can find out, I can finally get to the point where God is willing to give me a child." Even though I am not elevating myself above others by those thoughts, I am still basically trying to earn a blessing from God - and it is the height of pride to think that I could ever be worthy of God's favor! But my merciful Savior freely pursues me and lavishly blesses me, not as a reward for anything I do, but as the lover of my sinful soul. He did not wait for me to obey before he saved me, and he is not waiting for me to attain some degree of spiritual maturity before he gives me children. He is fulfilling all his good purposes for me in his good time.