I love when God speaks. When prayers are answered so clearly, there is no mistaking it. Follow me, it’s a long one…
Last night we had, once again, another conversation with the girls about the possible addition to the house and adoption. My kids are comforted by a schedule and set expectations. Mommy and Daddy down a back hall versus the next room over is a big deal. Giving that up for a little brother is a big deal. And I’ll be honest, the kids aren’t sold on it. Especially Emma. I haven’t broken through yet to see what’s going on but so far it’s just that she’s an “us four, no more” girl right now. So I just prayed that God would change her heart and ready her for this change. To be frank, we don’t let our kids dictate our decisions. If God tells us to do this, Emma’s just going to have to get an extra dose of grace from God to get through it. I did the same with a house move when I was 8. I remember my mom saying, “Listen, Amy, we’re moving and you can go with us or not, but we’re going.” I suppose this is “what goes around, comes around” part of my life. Anyway, I say all to say last night I prayed about the addition and adoption during prayer time with the girls. I specifically prayed that He would ready us and also prayed for the little child, if he was out there. As soon as we were done, Emma started asking questions. I could tell her little heart had already opened a bit to the idea and she was trying to get the answers she needed to be ok with it. She’s not there yet, but she’s moving.
Last night I was reading for my Bible in 90 Days schedule and I bookmarked a verse in 1 Chronicles. I haven’t bookmarked a verse during this reading since Numbers, almost 3 weeks ago. This is it:
1 Chronicles 21:24 But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”
When I read that, I thought, ouch. That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking about, especially surrounding money. What good is it that we give when it’s not a sacrifice? I love what CS Lewis says
“I do not believe that one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid that the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as out own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”
Now CS Lewis’ work isn’t the Bible but I think that’s what David was getting at. What good is a sacrifice if it isn’t really a sacrifice at all?
This morning I was praying again, please, let it be clear. I don’t want to do this without clear direction. Again and again, I keep hearing. Do it! Fast!
I started my blog hopping this morning and was reading, actually watching, this post from a new blogger I’ve been following, Laura Parker. Her and her family are in Thailand serving. The post led me over to another on her site about adopting an orphan. Those words hit me hard:
Yet, we wait.
We wait for God to speak to us in an audible voice, telling us to “GO!”—sometimes He does that audible voice thing, you know.
We wait for the perfect job to come along—orphan care demands a whole lot of money.
We wait for the bills to be paid—can’t be taking on more than we can handle.
We wait for the larger house—because adding children requires a large house.
We wait for a few kids to leave the nest before we add more—can’t be having too many children in the home.
We wait for confirmation with the perfect scripture to drop into our spirits as a sign that we need to act now.
We wait, we wait, we wait.
And while we wait—they perish. The statistics are staggering. I can’t even look anymore.
Ouch. But that’s not the end. I saw a link for a post “Being a Foster Parent”. Which it’s probably not ringing a bell for you guys but the thing we are considering right now is foster-to-adopt which our church is launching this year. She talks about the very thing I’ve gotten many comments on already…how hard would it be to give the child back? I can say, it’s hard. No denying it. My family was a foster family to many newborns when I was 6-7 and I was in the room when my parents handed the child over to the adoptive family. There were tears. There is no denying it would be hard. But guess what the post said?
Of course it’s hard. When God calls us to do something, to serve, to serve Him, he doesn’t say – oh and I have something for you and it should be pretty easy so go for it. No, He says, "…to look after orphans and widows in their distress" James 1:27. It doesn’t say, when it’s convenient and easy…look after orphans. In 2 Samuel 24:24 King David says, "No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing." Sacrifices in the Old Testament were a form of worship and an action of obedience. "I will not sacrifice that which costs me nothing." My dear friend Laura Parker who chose to listen and obey and sacrifice for orphans said, "true worship and obedience comes with a cost." I think that is true. There has not been a doubt in my mind in the last 9 years that THIS is what God has called our family to do. To sacrifice for orphans.
Gosh, this post is getting so long but do you see that?? She pulled in the exact same verse (same instance but from it’s original context in Samuel) from David! The same one I highlighted just last night. And the post was related not to money, but to sacrificing yourself for orphans and specifically this post talked about fostering children. I mean out of all the verses, how is it that I ran into the same one just hours later and really only minutes after praying about adoption?
I love how God uses so many instances to create a beautiful tapestry. More and more when I see God work, it’s many things pulled together to make a bigger picture. When I read that last post, it was like a ton of bricks hit my soul. That’s our sacrifice. I hope, though, it’s also our joy.
I don’t do this much but would you please pray that God moves in our family? I feel like this is the direction we are going but it would be awesome if the kids were excited. The thing is I KNOW it’s going to be a sacrifice, that’s what’s clear about what God is saying. It will be hard, there will be tears. But I also know He will equip us if he calls us.