Last Sunday, Tab spoke on Romans 6:11 - "So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." We need to know that our union with Christ makes us new creations, so that we will have faith for sanctification. We need the Jesus' past (his perfect life, his atoning death, his resurrection) to define our present battle against sin. It is only as we believe what God has already done for us in his Son that we believe what he will do for us.
As I listened to the message, I was convicted about my growing fear about the future. Infertility has revealed in my heart an underlying sinful anxiety. Although I think of myself as a pretty optimistic person in general, I have lately felt stuck in a state of expecting the worst. I believe that God is good, but I have managed to twist that belief into a perverse kind of foreboding. It goes something like this in my mind: "God works all things for good, right? Infertility has been really hard, but it must be good somehow. God knows the future, and it is obviously not best for us to have a child right now if he is sovereignly causing us to wait." All okay, so far, huh? But where I get into trouble is when I start playing the mental game of imagining the reasons why we're not supposed to have children. Trying to second guess God's reasoning, I start to wonder if maybe Aaron or I is soon going to die or be paralyzed or something else that would make it really difficult to care for children, or if my sister- and brother-in-law will be in a plane crash so that we will adopt our nephews which would obviously be an easier transition if we don't already have children of our own, or all kinds of other bizarre scenarios usually involving someone's death or debilitation. How do I manage to get from affirming God's goodness to expecting such horrible things to happen? (My sinful heart, that's how!) And once I start imagining those things, I have a hard time taking those thoughts captive. Sunday's message convicted me that those fears are sinful and reminded me that I am not bound to those worries. I am united with Christ and therefore I have hope for change, for growth, for a more genuine trust in God's goodness. Infertility cannot make me a fearful or pessimistic person; it can reveal sin in my heart, but my Savior has paid for that sin and promises to make me more like himself. Instead of looking to the immediate past of our struggles to conceive as an indication of what is to come, I need to look to the far-off but ever-present past of the cross. That's where I see God's goodness displayed, where I see fear defeated, and where I see hope for the future.