Lamentations 3:22-24 says Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion. Therefore, I will wait for him. Have you ever considered the result of being "consumed"? To be so overcome by grief or fear or hate that there is no going back, no opportunity to be who you were, ever again? To be so engulfed by that absence of God you are no longer recognizable? My goodness. That person could have been me. If you know Jesus, it could have been you. If you don't know Jesus, Friend, it is you.
His love prevents us from being consumed because His love, "his compassions" never fail. But there is another kind of "consumed". To be "consumed by God's great love and purpose for your life. You know, those people who just talk and talk about how much they love Jesus. They seem genuinely happy driving a used (okay, very used) vehicle, living in a smaller home and eating a whole lot of macaroni so they can give their money to missions or adoption or some other crazy thing that is surely somebody else's problem. Right? Right? Do I hear a cricket chorus? Those people are consumed by God's love, by their love for Him and an overwhelming desire to DO HIS WILL!!! I want to be consumed like that!!!
I have contemplated many, many times this week what would have happened if we had not said "YES!!" when God gave us the miracle chance to adopt Patrick. The picture is very frightening. For starters, I would not have met two, already dear friends, Katie and Sandy. I would have missed multiple opportunities to share the love of Jesus with my friends who don't know Him. I would have missed the lessons that come with humility in accepting a love offering. I would have missed having the opportunity to grow in my reliance on God. To feel comfortable in coming to Him, in tears, pleading for my son's life--that my baby be healed---that he get to know the love of a mama and daddy and experience every "first" that are so often taken for granted but that he has never experienced. I would have missed reconnecting with my friend Julie, who was in our 2012 travel group. I would have missed experiencing Facebook and what a technological alter it can be for prayer. I think Facebook, like nothing else, gives Christians the opportunity to pray for one another and collectively like nothing else. I love, love, love watching The Body of Christ pray for each other and lift one another's children up before the throne of God. I am blessed beyond words just for saying "yes".
Which brings me to this...I can't tell you the number of times I've heard, "Oh, it's a great thing you're doing adopting all those kids." Uh, no it's not. And, really, 3 is not "all those". It's not "a great thing" I'm doing. Obedience is not a great thing. Don't you expect obedience of your children? So does God. Don't get me wrong, adoption has blessed my life beyond measure and I would go toe-to-toe with the devil for my babies. But, I wouldn't have heard the call to adopt if I hadn't been listening. And even if I had heard it, I could have been disobedient and done nothing. Just ignored Him. Gone on about my business. Disobeying. Have you ever used the old excuse, "I didn't hear you" when you just flat didn't want to respond to someone--or didn't want to do what they asked---or thought the request was too hard, or boring, or stupid? Do you do it to God? Because I'm just wondering if all those people who "aren't called"---ARE. They just don't want to answer. Because it's scary and financially sacrificial and time-consuming and invasive and lots of other things when you decide to be CONSUMED by God. Listening. Obeying.
Please, for yourself, for your relationship with God, consider whether you are "called" but just not listening. It will make an eternity's worth of difference to a child. Taking care of the widows and orphans is not somebody else's calling. It's EVERY Christian's calling.
And, as for my darlin' Patrick....He's gorgeous. I cannot wait to post pictures of him and listen to everybody say, "Wow, Amy, you were right. He is crazy cute!!!" USCIS has cashed our check!!! WOO HOO, never have I been so stoked that someone has taken my money!! The fact that they cashed the check means we should expect the fingerprinting appointment letters (probably) this week. SWEET!!! We have a fundraiser at Freddy's Frozen Custard on May Avenue in Oklahoma City on February 1, 2012. We have an Adopt Together fundraiser at www.adopttogether.org. I'm trying to figure out how to avoid checking any bags because I don't want the hassle of carrying more than I have to when I leave to bring our boy home.
Please continue to pray for the orphan children of Russia. There are American families in Russia, right now, petitioning the courts to allow them to bring their children home. My prayer is that God will treat these children just like he did the Children of Israel and never let Vladimir Putin rest until God's children go free. He alone sets the lonely in families and NO ONE can stay His hand.
Joy Unspeakable and full of Glory!