Thursday, June 16, 2011

What's the problem?

Faith's Victories and Trials

Almost all of the posts we have shared to date have been upbeat, positive, focusing on delightfully awe-inspiring testimonies of how the Lord has blessed our famlies and our children through adoption. I have felt, acutely, that it is time to share the other side of the story. In reading Hebrews 11 this morning, the hall of fame of faith, the first half is full of all those victory stories about "conquering kingdoms, ...gaining what was promised, shutting the mouths of lions, ... whose weakness was turned into strength (v.33f)." Yet the other half of Hebrews 11 describes the rest of the story: "Others were tortured,...faced jeers,... were put in prison, stoned, sawed in two,...destitute, persecuted and mistreated...they wandered." Now that all 10 of our kids, ages 17-26, are walking into young adulthood, I feel I have figuratively walked through a broad variety of both faith's victories and its trials. I could almost write my own "Hebrews 11" chapter for our family, replete with examples from both halves of Hebrews!

The Lie and the Truth
When we have walked through the latter half of Hebrews 11, the lie that I have feared on certain occasions when the facts appeared hopelessly bleak was this: "Your adopting them may make no difference in their lives." The truth is that "Jesus' love does and will make a difference in their lives."

They Expect a Funeral; Jesus Expects Breakfast!
Along these lines, I have had the story of Jesus' approach to Jairus' daughter ringing in my mind this week. What was her problem? The crowd and the little girl's parents had determined she was dead -- they were hopelessly bleak. Jesus arrives on the scene with a different view, "The child is not dead but asleep." (Mark 5:39) Do you see it???? Everyone else sees the problem is 'death' while Jesus sees that problem is simply 'sleep.' They are expecting a funeral and He is expecting breakfast! May the Lord wake up that glorious person He has created inside of each of our children and inside of us, even when the facts make us feel like we are being sawn in two!

9 of our 10 treasures!
Returning Prodigal or Older Brother?
I will close with a personal illustration. One of our 10 kids has especially struggled the past year, having selected friends who influenced her to make bad choices, such bad choices that she ended up in jail to serve a six-month sentence. We were so sure we were called to love her, pray for her, call her on the phone, and encourage her to be salt and light there in that place. The only possession she was allowed to keep was her Bible, which we encouraged her to fill her heart with every day before leaving her cell. Just before she was released, on one of our last calls she said, "Mommy, my friend Butterfly is really sad I am leaving." When I inquire about why Butterfly is sad, our daughter explains, "Butterfly really likes that Bible you sent me, and she has been reading it. Do you think you could send her one? Can you talk to my friend Butterfly now? She is standing right here beside me." I could only praise the Lord that even there, He could use something as simple as a telephone and a Bible, to help our daughter pass along His love (and we did send Butterfly her own Bible). There are many prodigals who must approach what may seem like 'death' before they begin to walk more fully into life. My dear husband always has scared me a little by the number of times, in discussing our children, he has commented, "I would much rather have a prodigal [who returns] than an older brother." And Jesus' advice to all of us parents of current or former prodigals is this: "Don't be afraid; just believe." (Mark 5:36) I can almost hear Him saying, "I can handle this!" What a relief. Because of this truth, our lives at home can be "joyful, full of gladness for all the goodness the Lord has shown to us." (I Kings 8:66)

1 comment:

  1. Dearest Susan,

    Thank you for sharing your heart and story! We've walked with many friends on similar paths with their children, biological and adopted.
    Bless you for your ministry and light of Jesus!
    Hugs and prayers,