Two things are missing from my ministry to my fellow sailors:
1. Genuine Compassion: Christ had compassion on people. Just read from Matthew:
Matthew 9:36-38: When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
The reason Christ said that we needed more workers was because of his compassion. There was an almost desperate hope in Christ’s heart that enough Christians would come out of spiritual hiding and help the lost find Him.
And I am woefully lacking in the compassion area. My life is built on years of not believing Christ had this kind of compassion for me, much less anyone else. And that is displayed as I walk the passageways of my ship feeling smug and not telling my fellow-sailors about Christ. My heart isn’t broken yet.
2. Lack of Fear: I fear rejection more than I want my coworkers and neighbors to come to Christ. I would rather sacrifice them in hell and stay silent than risk being rejected. That is a very strong way of putting it, but my fear of rejection is strong. It’s time to be honest about it.
Now for the hope: I am a laborer in the ripe field of harvest that is the USS Antietam. I’m not sure why God has put me here on some days because of my weaknesses, but I’m grateful.
I am grateful that God is bigger than me. I’m grateful that his son did have compassion on me. I’m grateful that the Holy Ghost has sealed me and that he is more powerful than my fear.
Compassion can and will come as I accept the many sins that I have been forgiven for, because of the Father’s compassion. And I will overcome fear as I realize that, though men may reject me, my Father never will.
I don’t write this post to promote false-humility or to display my weaknesses (I promise…there are more than two!). Instead I write this because there is hope for me. Real hope. With the same hope that I have in my eternal destiny, I have my temporal one as a witness in this Jerusalem.