Yesterday morning I read Psalm 18. It's a Psalm of praise, thanksgiving, and victory written by David after God has delivered him from Saul and saved his life. It seemed a perfect way to start my day. And yesterday was a really good day for our family, just an ordinary day filled with small blessings for which we are all thankful--time with friends, laughter, a dollar movie, and time all together because Daddy took a day off of work. When we got home last night, I took a few minutes to scan through the blogs that I normally read/follow. And two of them were asking for prayer for a terrible situation--a precious child with downs syndrome, living in an orphanage in an Eastern European country, who was wanted by a family. They had held him, loved him, and did everything they could to become his adoptive family--but the judge said "No". How can this be? How can that precious gift of God be left in an institution when he has a family waiting to love him and teach him and care for him the rest of his life? How can this family endure this decision, losing their son? I prayed and I cried out to God for them...I don't know this family, I have never seen this child. I pray for a miracle in this situation. I know that God loves that little boy and his hopeful and hurting adoptive family, but I do not know the answers to these hard questions.
One child matters, every child matters, because each life matters. And the reality is that there are more than 140 million children who lie in institution beds, who sleep on the streets and scrounge for food in dumpsters, who live in landfills and try to survive from digging through piles of waste and refuse, who are sold as slaves into hard labor or prostitution, who have never had their boo-boos kissed, who go to bed hungry, who have never been told that God loves them and has a plan for their lives. And no matter how heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, life-changing it is to SEE and KNOW that these are kids, NOT NUMBERS, we NEED to see it and we need to DO SOMETHING about it! Because as children of God, who have been saved by Jesus, we desperately NEED to get past ourselves, our lukewarm lifestyles, and our desire to live out a dream that is not God's for us. Those are the things that keep us from the hard places, but also keep us from experiencing JOY and LOVE and CONTENTMENT that come only from HIM!
A couple of weeks ago, someone who met Anderson for the first time commented to Jeff and me, "That is an amazing thing you did for that child...you changed his life." My response was that he was an amazing gift, and through his adoption God changed our lives and family. I cringe to imagine what our lives would be like if we had said "No" to God's call on our family to adopt, if Anderson was still in Thailand and we were still living as we were back in 2006. And with all my heart, despite my fears and sinfulness, I want to say "Yes" to what He calls us to do next, because I do not want to give up what He has for us in order to hold onto what I think is dear! Even when we look completely CRAZY to everyone else, if we are following hard after His call on our lives that's where we need to be.
So, what does all of this have to do with Psalm 18? Well, I really want to be able to read Psalm 18 and to proclaim its truth even on days when I don't feel like a victorious warrior, even on days when circumstances and life are just painful. I want to cling to God and know Him and glimpse just a little of who He is and how much He loves me even when everything goes wrong and life falls apart and my heart is broken over the pain in this world. Because Psalm 18 is about God giving an earthly victory to David more than two thousand years ago, and it was from David's lineage that Jesus Christ was born. Now, through Jesus, God offers all people the opportunity to be victorious warriors, and this time it is an eternal victory over sin and death, our enemy and our destiny without Christ. So the truth of Psalm 18 rings loud and clear when we realize that God has a love for us that protects,sustains and gives ultimate victory even when we lose our day to day battles and life slams us to the ground on our faces. Thank you Lord, for reminding me that you alone sustain, and your way is perfect.
"As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way."
Loving and Learning,
- I love Jesus Christ, am a seeker of beauty, and am a grateful child of God who would be lost and hopeless were it not for His grace. I am learning to walk in love, see interruptions as divine appointments, and value people and relationships above agendas and results. I pray my life is grace-filled, and brings joy and encouragement to everyone I know and meet. We are a family of 6, built by God through love, birth, and adoption, living in the beauty and the struggle that accompanies parenting kids from hard places. Got questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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