Monday, February 8, 2010

YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT?!?

“And the LORD said…”

It sounds so clear and matter of fact in the Old Testament, but what if you felt that phrase ended with your name? What if the LORD’s voice challenged you to do something specific?

That’s where I believe I find myself. I feel the LORD has challenged me and my family to provide a family for an international orphan through adoption. You might say we’ve been challenged to take Hebron, a fortified city defended by giants. Those of you who have been listening to my sermons know where I’m coming from. For the rest of you, you can read the story of Caleb in Joshua 14 or listen to my sermon online (http://www.riversideefc.com/-listen to the sermon “Courageous Faith”). Caleb believed in a God who could overcome any obstacle, even a well-fortified city inhabited by giants. He refused to allow obstacles thwart him from God’s calling.

Adoption lies close to my heart, because I was adopted. For years, I have desired to bless a child with a family even as I had been blessed. Though the desire has remained dormant for the most part, the tragedy in Haiti jolted it to new life. The LORD used passages like James 1:27 (…look after orphans and widows in their distress…) and Psalm 68:6 (God sets the lonely in families…) to stir my heart to action.

Throughout scripture you discover a God whose heart yearns for orphans and who has himself modeled adoption. If you have trusted in Jesus Christ, then you have been adopted into God’s family. It seemed that pursuing this calling of adoption was following the example of my Heavenly Father.

Yet, was God truly calling me to this life changing mission? Couldn’t God plaster a billboard with “SCOTT, YOU MUST ADOPT A CHILD INTERNATIONALLY!!! THUS SAITH THE LORD” just to make sure? As you know God doesn’t seem to use billboards to speak to us (though I wouldn’t say He couldn’t), but He does speak to us through His word, His people, and even circumstances. So God, in His grace, confirmed His calling.

Last Tuesday (February 2) I was preparing to have a little devotion time with my two boys. Every morning I try and read few verses from Proverbs with them and pray to start the day. This particular morning we were running late and gathered in the living room instead of their bedroom. Christy and Abby were sitting on the couch and asked if they should leave, but I figured they might as well listen also (NOTE: I do pray with my wife and daughther as well. I don't have some odd belief that forbids me from having devotions with them. It's just that I use the morning time in the Proverbs to encourage my sons to grow into Godly men).

We had all the application paper work completed and in an envelope next to me as we prepared to read from Proverbs 3:27 (our passage for the day). We planned on mailing the paper work that day. I opened to Proverbs 3:27 and read, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it is in your power to act.” That verse might as well have been plastered on a billboard. The LORD’s voice seemed to boom at me through that verse. We could certainly provide a family and home for a child who needed one and orphans certainly seemed like those whom God would say deserved good. So we needed to obey God's word and act. We mailed the application that day.

Our love and prayers for a new little girl coming to our home began stirring since then, but we have also discovered the walls of Hebron are well-fortified. I understood most of the costs involved in the adoption process, but I didn’t know all of the financial requirements for international adoption. A positive net worth is one of them. For various reasons like school debt, medical expenses, and admittedly some foolish spending earlier in our marriage, we have a negative net worth. So at this time we do not qualify to adopt internationally.

What do we do? When Israel saw the fortified walls around Hebron, they told Moses they couldn’t take the land and should simply turn around and head back to Egypt. Caleb, however, believed he could take the land with God's help. Eventually, Caleb did just that! He took the fortified city inhabited by giants and demonstrated God is able. We are choosing to follow Caleb’s example and trust God to overcome the obstacle we have encountered in this process. How will He do that? Right now, I have no idea. We will do all we can in trimming expenses to pay down our debt and move to a positive net worth, but we know that ultimately God will have to do a miracle. I believe He will.

I invite everyone who reads this blog (all five of you) to join me in prayer on this journey and I will keep you posted on how God moves. To HIM be all the Glory!

Joshua 14:12
So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the Lord is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the Lord said.” NIV

1 comment:

  1. We are looking forward to see how God works in this process with you -- we know He will.

    Larry & Lana

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