This past weekend I attended an Adoption Conference at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Something happened on Saturday morning that left me wondering how many sermons I have heard in my lifetime. I have no idea what the number is, but I know that the number is HUGE, probably into five digits.. if not six! And to be honest, many of these messages have left me dry, empty, and/or bored.. some have literally left me sleeping. But there have also been a good many others that have been incredibly powerful, convincing, encouraging and/or convicting.. and some of those have been life changing. Saturday morning I heard Dr. David Platt, pastor at the Church at Brook Hills, preach one of those life changing, awe inspiring messages!
Dr. Platt’s text was the book of Ruth, chapter 2. (If I can get my hands on a copy of the sermon I will post a link in a future blog). The book of Ruth is an incredible love story that gives the reader a bird’s eye view of the beauty and the sovereignty of God’s Gospel of Grace. Several days have passed since hearing this message and I still find myself continually reflecting on the reality and assurance that God will never leave or forsake me.. He is, and has always been, with me! On my most difficult days.. days that He allows.. God is fully engaged, aggressively plotting His dynamic plan of grace and deliverance in my life. The truth is nothing in our lives is happening by chance.. everyone we meet, and every circumstance we face, is providential. Through this amazing love story God reveals that He often uses sorrowful tragedy to bring satisfying triumph.
Now, this is significant because every adoption begins with a tragedy. Someone had to die (birth parents) or a child had to be rejected to create the possibility. Just like the text in Ruth 2 lays out, someone then had to discover the need.. and have the right to redeem, the resources to redeem, and the resolve to redeem. This is the threefold process everyone hoping to adopt must navigate:
One, you have to demonstrate that you have the right to redeem. That’s what the home study, dossier, DHR, immigration process is all about. You have two country’s governments demanding that you demonstrate your qualifications to parent and that you have the right to redeem a child. Two, you must demonstrate that you have the resources to redeem. Adoption is expensive, not only financially but emotionally as well.. not to mention a huge investment of your time. You will have to demonstrate that you have the resources to redeem a precious child. Finally, your resolve will be put to the test. As I often say, between you and the Promise land of “gotcha day” is a wilderness of waiting and unknowns. You will have to demonstrate that you have the resolve to redeem a precious, abandoned or orphaned child.
This process, that we sometimes refer to as Gospel of Adoption, is the way we were grafted into God’s family.. He had to have the right, the resources, and the resolve to rescue us.. I’m so grateful He did! For those of us blessed to be called by God to adopt, we truly get a front row seat to see and identify with God, in both the difficulty and the ultimate joy, that is the process of adoption.. moving from sorrowful tragedy to satisfying triumph. I pray for continued blessing on all of our Lifeline families, you are never alone, God is always with you!