Today I sat on a beautiful hill in Vancouver and meditated on Romans 8. This was painful reading. I suddenly realized that I need to stop focusing on myself and start to focus on God. I was hit hard by what I read.
‘Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.’Romans 8: 7-8 The Message
Ouch! So much of my focus this year has been on getting pregnant. I’ve focused on me and ignored God. I’ve ignored what He’s doing and what He’s trying to say to me. If it hasn’t been “Here’s a child, Helen” I haven’t wanted to hear it. I can’t keep putting off quiet times.
It was also encouraging reading. I was also reminded that there is no condemnation, no punishment. I am not condemned because I’ve ignored God. I’m not being punished.
Ironically it was while I was reading this that I felt God speak words of encouragement and hope to me. Ironic because I was deciding to stop focusing on my infertility and to start focusing on God when His words spoke to me about my infertility!
‘All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance.’Romans 8:22-24 The Message
Yes, my sterile and barren body is yearning to deliver a child. And as I read this it was like a whisper that it will happen. If not this month, then sometime. And then I kept reading:
‘That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.’Romans 8:25 The Message
I remembered all the years I’d experienced working for a charity, waiting for funds to come in. Not knowing when we would be paid. Of reading and seeing colleagues’ open struggles with this waiting and uncertainty. I knew first hand how that grew my faith. How that changed me and taught me to trust God for everything. This is another opportunity to wait and trust. God is doing something. He’s teaching me something. I might not see it yet, but I will.
‘Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.’Romans 8:26-28 The Message
This was such a reminder of my husband’s poignant prayers last month when my period started. I didn’t know how or what to pray and he prayed for me. And the Spirit does that too. Ironic that this passage talks about our pregnant condition and my aches and sobs are because I am not. But as I kept reading I was given fresh hope that one day I will be:
‘God knew what he was doing from the very beginning.’Romans 8:29 The Message
Yes, I should trust Him and trust His timing.