Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Don't Forget Who I Am

{The Hord Family}
We have not been one of those couples who had to have their arm twisted by the Lord to get us to adopt.  It is something that we always wanted to do, something that we have delighted to do.  Growing up with three adopted siblings made adoption seem beautifully normal to me.   When our oldest son came home through adoption several years ago, it did not fulfill our call to adopt but only deepened it.  My husband and I anxiously waited for the time when we would be old enough to adopt from China.  

But even with all the excitement, experience and knowledge that this is what God had for our lives, there have still been times of relentless fear.   I did not expect this process to be such a time of emotional storm. 
I love to read the Jesus Story book Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones to my children.  I often think I get as much out of it as they do.  Close to the beginning of this adoption process, I read the story of Jesus calming the storm.  He does this simply by His word.  He speaks, and the storm obeys.  When the sea has settled back down, Jesus turns to his anxious disciples and asks, “Why were you scared?  Did you forget who I Am?  Did you believe your fears instead of me?” 
Filling out the special needs check list proved to be a much more daunting task than I had anticipated.  I found myself crippled with fear and anxiety over what the Lord might call us to do.   How would our life change?  What if God called us to love a very sick child?  What heartbreak might we have to face? 
When we found out who our little girl would be, all fears instantly vanished over how our life might change when we brought her home.  She was our daughter and we would do whatever it took.  But it is a hard thing to be in love with a child who is so far away from your aching arms.  I can find myself obsessively worrying about her precious little life.  Is she safe? Is she healthy?   Is she getting enough food?  Is anyone kissing her goodnight before she goes to sleep? 
{The Hord's waiting daughter in China}

And, then there has been the plight of the orphan at large, which has burdened me more than it ever has before.  I mean, I have always thought about orphans, but to know that I have a child out there who is being counted among them has been a hard thought to gnaw on.  It has made the countless faces come alive, the ones that I encounter day after day who are still waiting to be claimed by a loving family. Whenever I am in a crowd, I find myself estimating how many people are in the room.  As I sit in church on any given Sunday, the sanctuary feels full with around 300 people inside.  And while this feels like quite a few, there are comparatively over 147 million orphans in the world!  Why do there have to be so many?   How can we ever do enough to help make a difference in their lives?  What can I do with this burden besides feel overwhelmed?   Why do I often forget that these precious children weigh much more heavily on His heart than my own? 
All of these fearful questions have been hard to wrestle with.  I have found myself  ready to just be done with this process so I can get back to life as usual-  easy and comfortable, just thinking about myself and those closest to me.  Consequently, this process has brought to the surface more sin in my life than I ever dreamed it would.  Selfishness, jealousy, anxiety, doubt and impatience and that is just to name a few!  I have spent many days feeling like a spoiled brat who is pouting because I am not getting my way.  How in the world could God love a sinner like me?  How could he not treat me as my sins deserve?   Why is it so hard for me to simply rest in His goodness when He has shown Himself to be so very faithful? 
And so this simple story has replayed over and over again in mind as I have battled against my fear and doubt. Regretfully, I have found myself believing my fears instead of Him.   “Don’t forget who I Am” He whispers:   A great Redeemer (Gal 3:13).  The supplier of our needs (Philippians 4;19).  Our strength and refuge (Psalm 46:1)  Faithful when we are faithless (1 Timothy2:13)   The Bearer of our burdens  (Psalm 68:19) Father to the Fatherless (Psalm 68:5)
And by His Word, He alone can calm the storm.
Jenny Hord, Lifeline Family