Exodus 20:4-5 (NASB)
“You shall not make for yourself a carven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God…”
The past week or so I’ve felt I’ve been in a bit of a spiritual lull. Please don’t read “lull” as a bad thing. It’s been nice, just being with the Lord and soaking in His Word. In all honesty, the past month has had a lot of big changes, and a temporary lull was a gift. A time to rest, a time to reflect.
And now, the lull is O-V-E-R.
Let me explain!
Even more so than normal, the adoption process has been in my mind and on my heart. I have a good friend who, with her family, is anxiously awaiting the news that they are cleared to travel to Eastern Europe to see their boy for the first time. Waiting with her during this has been great; it definitely keeps the adoption issue close to the front of my thoughts.
During my time with the Lord this week, I happened to be thinking about adoption, and read the following two sets of verses…
2 Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
Being where I was, this verse was a comfort. I have felt for almost a year now that the Lord was going to use adoption to bless my family. But there was waiting to be done. First I had to come to terms with the waiting, and I have. I feel a complete sense of peace about the timing being ALL God’s. Then, I had to come to terms with Matt’s debt-free requirement. And, in waiting on the Lord I felt that this was right, and I’m completely at peace with the process. There have been other things that have come up that have caused my heart to jump, thinking that maybe it was meant to be sooner than I realized, only to see that there were OTHER lessons to be learned. One of them was to prioritize the rescue of a child over anything else the world may offer. And, we have.
And so, I read the verse as another way the Lord was just reminding me that He is still there. He hasn’t forgotten this most precious desire of my heart.
2 Peter was followed by 1 John 5:14-15 (ESV)
“And this is the confidence we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the request that we asked of him.”
More confirmation! I already know that adoption is the Father’s heart! He tell us in his word to care for the the orphans. He showed us how wonderful adoption is by adopting us into his own family! Of course this is his will! And so, eventually, in his timing, it will be so for us.
The beautiful thing about God is that his ways are not my ways, they are higher. I wouldn’t want it any other way; I’ve seen the destruction, the hurt, the pain that following MY ways can bring.
And yet, sometimes, sometimes he asks SO MUCH.
To the point of pain.
He reminds us that we must be willing to sacrifice even the most precious of our desires to Him, for Him, for his glory. He is a jealous God. He will not stand for ANYthing to stand in first place ahead of him.
As I prayed, I asked the Lord to move quickly. That I was perfectly fine waiting (and I am!), but that I wouldn’t be opposed to a move of his mighty hand in this to make it happen quickly.
And, as I waited, I saw a picture…
Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only
son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went And took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The LORD will provide…”
(found in Genesis 22)
God tell Abraham, who has been blessed with this much hoped for child, to take his most precious thing and sacrifice it to Himself.
This cannot possibly be for me. I have given up SO much! I have learned to wait for your timing! I have submitted myself joyfully to the waiting! And yet…
The Lord reminds me that he was willing to sacrifice his most precious thing for me. He sent his Son, knowing that there would be pain and suffering involved, but he loved me enough to do it anyways.
Am I willing to sacrifice my hopes of adoption? Am I willing to lay even that down on the alter? Am I willing to confront the knowledge that I am been prioritizing the idea of adoption above listening for the Call of the One who loves me more than any other? That is what I am being asked to do.
He will NOT stand to be second place, EVEN if it’s second place to his own heart’s desire for orphans and families.
And so, I let go.
I still hold to the hope that one day, our family will be increased through adoption; that we will learn on an even deeper level the love the Lord had for us when he called us out of our depravity into his Light.
I will hold to the hope that this is a test, that like Abraham, the Lord will provide the ram in the thicket. And that the adoption will be even more precious because of it.
But if it doesn’t…
I will still say with joy, “Thy will be done.”