Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"I Could Never Do That!"

“What you’re doing is wonderful.” “I wish I could do something like that but I know I’m not cut out for it.” “I don’t know how you do it.” These are frequent comments I hear from fellow Christians when they learn that we are adopting again. (In addition to, “Are you guys crazy?!)

It might make people feel better to think that some people (presumably me) are just created to be able to handle the chaos of seven children, while others (they) are not. But I’m sorry to say that I am not inherently created to do more or be more patient than most.

Let me paint a picture of the perfect atmosphere for me (my inward nature, that is). Imagine the only sound is quiet classical music, preferably Bach piano. Add to that a couple of lighted fountains. The house is immaculate and smelling of baked goods in the Fall (from candles of course) and gardenias in the Spring. I am cozy in my yoga pants with a good book, lounging on my couch. There are no people around (lol) but perhaps my dog is lying by my feet. Dinner is simmering in the crock pot and ALL of my work is completely caught up.

This is what my inner man wants. I’m a person who, by nature, longs for peace. But thank God the Holy Spirit has shown me what real peace from God looks like. It doesn’t usually look the same as what our natural man sees as peace. For, the peace of God comes from a willingness to give up your life and your natural desires. It comes when you allow your heart to be broken for what breaks his heart and you allow yourself to be the answer to someone’s poverty.

This is what adoption looks like. It is redemption. There are children growing up in institutions who have no family involvement in their lives at all. They are raised by employees. Some are in nice institutions with enough to eat and kind workers, and some are in poverty stricken institutions without the basic necessities and with workers who are only there for a paycheck. But whatever the circumstances, there are no “ok” situations for orphans. While we American Christians cozy up in our nicely decorated living rooms with our 1.86 children, there are an estimated 20 million children available for International adoption….not cozying up with anyone tonight. Not knowing what it feels like to really be loved. Worst of all…not knowing the love of Christ because those entrusted with sharing that love on the earth believe they “couldn’t handle it” or that they “aren’t cut out for adopting.”

But we MUST “be able” to do it. No matter what our natural inclinations are. No matter what our “personalities” are like. This is what it means to be a new creation. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We don’t need a face to face visit from the Lord to know that he desires for us to care for “the least of these”. It says it right there in Matthew 25:40.

So, for me, right now there’s no Bach or fountains….and if there were, I wouldn’t be able to hear them anyway for all the people in the house. I never remember to burn my candles, and my dogs often run for cover. I usually wait until the last minute to cook dinner and I haven’t read a novel in three years. I always have items on my “to do” list that get pushed to the next day and my house is always messier than I would like. But do you know what….despite all of these “inconveniences” which may go against my natural human grain, there is amazing contentment and peace…..and the great joy that comes from living a life that mirrors Christ’s, rather than the American dream. I heard a preacher recently say, “If the “big thing” that you think God is calling you to do is something that you can do in your own strength, then that is most likely not the “big thing” he’s called you to, because when God calls us to do something great for him it’s something that we could never do on our own, but only through him…with his anointing.

So before you tell me or any other adoptive parent that you don’t think you could ever do it….for whatever reason…..remember that God is the one who gives the ability. When we rely on him to change us and mold us into his image, we will find ourselves doing amazing things that truly please his heart….things we never thought possible. This is what it means when we say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)

For information on just a few of the absolutely precious children who are waiting for a family please contact me through email or Facebook (links on this site)

More scripture to ponder:
1 Samuel 2:8
"He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honor."
Proverbs 19:17
"If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord—and he will repay you!"
Isaiah 58:6-7
"No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help."
Ezekiel 16:49
"Sodom's sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door."

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