I remember when I first came to our present church that our pastor preached a series that included these words repeated weekly, "What are you presently doing for God that will be IMPOSSIBLE UNLESS God shows up and does it through you?" My honest answer? Nothing! Why? FEAR. UNBELIEF.
Fear because I know God many times lets his children go through very difficult times. Unbelief because I wasn't trusting that his grace would be BIG ENOUGH to carry us through. Having children only increases these feelings because there I things I would go through but not want to put my kids through. So, there was more fear and unbelief because I had to trust that God's grace would be BIG enough to carry THEM through, too.
"Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from it's place." Revelation 2:4-5
But there's been this nagging in my spirit that God had called me to so much more than the life I have been living. Then this year of 2012 has been marked by a compulsion to study some of those radical passages I like to avoid. And there has been a conviction that I have been reading difficult passages of the Bible with no intention of obeying.
But here's what we tend to do as believers...when someone we know PERSONALLY decides to do something that sounds hard, that sounds impossible apart from the power of God, we try to talk them out of it out of genuine concern. We think they haven't considered the cost. We communicate, likely unintentionally, that God is NOT BIG enough to bring them through that or to do that through them.
The American church has been greatly BLESSED by God. We live in luxury. The problem with that? We tend toward a great lack of faith. We've given the credit for what we have to ourselves. When we're out of money there's a tendency to preach on tithing and never get around to praying about it. We tend to only do those things we have the money and resources for and never step out. And we teach that pattern... And we talk each other out of stepping out...
Do I have the ability to parent and heal and take care of 4 kids who have been abandoned by their parents? NO. I don't. Seriously, I don't. Do I have the money I need in the bank account right now? No. Is my van big enough? No. Have I got this? No. Am I called by God to this? YES! YES! YES! I am sure. No, really... I believe with all my heart that God has called us to this, that he will provide, that he's got this...and I can't wait to live it out and bring him glory through obedience.
Is God glorified if I'VE got this? Not really...
"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not —to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, 'Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.'" 1 Corinthians 1:27-31
I've been thinking a lot about when Jesus left heaven to come to Earth to redeem us. He left HEAVEN, people...to come HERE! More than that, he would be tortured, beaten, hated, crucified... Is that not CRAZY? Would anyone say, "Yea, great idea, it's gonna be great!" NO WAY!! If we cared about him at all, wouldn't we be tempted to try to talk him out of it? And WHAT IF WE SUCCEEDED??? How HORRIBLE!!!!
Then, with my adoption, I think of my 3 biological children. What if something had happened to my husband and I? What if no one would care for them because there were 3 of them (too many to take on at once) and because they were older kids (far too hard to take on older children). There are not enough tears in the world to cover the sorrow this would cause me to know that NO ONE would take care of my kids!!
So I love those "level headed ones" that would want to talk me out of adopting 4 older children at once because I know they care. But I am done playing it safe. I want to be like Jesus, willing to leave the easy comfort of Heaven to come to Earth to redeem us. Oh, it was MESSY and IMPOSSIBLE. But, by God's power, it was not only possible but it was finished!
"Jesus replied, 'What is impossible with men is possible with God.'" Luke 18:27
And when our kids are home and I have impossible days and I call you crying, will you do me a favor?? Remind me that God called me to it, that he will give us everything we need for that day, that his grace is sufficient, that he's got this, and that I need to rely on him.