This article is Part 3 of Sister Michelle Watson's series "Dealing With Divine Delays."
Everyone knows that there are certain spiritual gifts you can't earn. For example, you can't merit more of God's love by being an A+ Christian. You also can't get into heaven by impressing God with all of the good deeds you performed in life. As a young woman in my late 20s and early 30s, I knew this.
But ... I still kind of wanted to believe that if I was a really, really good girl and did everything I was supposed to, then God would reward me for my faithfulness and give me everything I asked for.
Realizing the error of this mindset took me a long time, and it was a hard thump when I hit the ground.
So, at this point in the story, Brother Michael and I wanted to have children, but it wasn't happening, so we spilled our guts about our problem and asked everyone to pray, but we hadn't received an answer ... years and years passed, and nothing happened. I was feeling a little betrayed and bitter toward God for not "keeping His promises" to me.
As I was working through those feelings of disillusionment, I was simultaneously grappling with this notion, the subject of this article, which is ... I deserve a baby!
Here's why I thought I deserved a baby:
- I'm a good Christian. I sincerely try my best to follow God's commands.
- I've been fasting and praying and studying scripture like nobody's business.
- I really do love God, and I'm going to teach my child to do the same.
- I've made all kinds of lifestyle changes (exercise, eating right, vitamins) to increase my chances, plus I've submitted to surgery, many invasive and embarrassing tests, and lots of expensive procedures.
- I'm very happily married, and we both actually want this baby, which is a lot more than some people can say, sheesh!
You don't need a Ph.D. to see that all of my reasons are mostly just hot air. There's no humility in any of these reasons. There's no true acknowledgement of who I am compared to who God is. All these reasons point to how good I thought I was, not how merciful and powerful I believed God to be. Psalm 127:3 says, "the fruit of the womb is his reward," and, golly gee, I was convinced that I'd earned that reward.
"Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."
"I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants."
These scriptures helped me slowly realize that God didn't owe me anything. In fact, if I were to truly get my just desserts, I'd be cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 25:30).
God is in the business of giving unmerited gifts, and I've already received the greatest one, the first and last. Christ on the cross. Even if I never get another good thing from God's hand, I already have everything I'm ever going to need.
So, after a while, I stopped trying to earn that baby. I realized that if God ever gave me one, it would be because He was good, not me.
Topic for next time: One of the biggest things I wanted to know when I was going through infertility was "why me?" Next time, I'll talk about how I let go of my whys.
New Scripture Reading Plan: Obedience
Here's another reading plan for you! The topic is obedience. Click here for the 30-day PDF version, or save the image below. It's got all the scriptures, but you decide how much you'll read each day. Enjoy!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.