From Susan Hillis:
3 words, 4 syllables. This is the story of my life. Period. God is BIGGER! The storms arise, and Jesus always arises higher, bigger, above them. They are still storms -- frightening, miserable, disturbing, uncomfortable. BUT, God is bigger. It has been said that even great writers always are telling the same story....over and over and over again, just through different characters. That is really all I do with my stories -- they are all the same, over and over and over again. God is BIGGER. Can I invite you, dear reader, today, to join my story?
The Great Rescuer
Many of us started out on our adoption/fostering/loving orphans (literal and figurative) with this false notion of wanting somehow to be a part of the Lord's rescue in the lives of dear children who needed hope and help, and a family and a Father. I know this is how I felt 15 years ago when I first saw that picture of precious Anya with that huge dimple, and Alex with his mischievous smile. Now, with 10 kids ages 18 to 27, I realize with relief, that it is the Great Rescuer Himself who rescues us and them. Here is my favorite quote about that:
"I thought that I was supposed to give life to 'save the world.' What these little hands [I was holding] would shake me back to life with was the truth that the world was already saved by the One who became a suffering servant. We didn't need to be the 'women of power for the hour.' All we were asked to do was to be little children. Yielded, trusting, and willing -- excited to be with the One who loves.....We are not called to be mothers and fathers to the poor. We aren't even to take the burdens of rescuing the afflicted. That's not our job. Our job is simple. We ask the Rescuer Himself to come, and He takes our little hands in His. Together we watch as God becomes what only He can be -- the One to save everyone, including ourselves!" (J.L. Davis, For Love's Sake, p. 74).
The Rescuer Guarding Lives
|With Cristi and Elyse on the plane going|
home from Summit
I just returned from a three day conference at Saddleback Church, California, the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit VIII. It was my great joy to be there with two of my heroes -- my daughter Cristi along with her 4 week old little baby Elyse (already loving orphans, that girl!!!), and my son Alex, and my dear friend Michelle. It was unspeakably moving on the last night of the conference, to see 4 leaders on stage from 4 regions of the world -- Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe, believing God to rescue all the orphans in their respective areas of the world, and praying in their native languages for these dear children to become sons and daughters of the King of kings!!! I wanted to jump up and down, and scream with glee, as a 'shameless audacity' prayer of my heart for at least 8 years has been, "Lord, please place a believer in the life of every orphan in the world." I wanted to scream, "Lord, you ARE doing it! Lord, you ARE bigger!!! Oh, God to whom all praise is due, I stand in AWE of you." The message to match the testimony was so anointed through Russell Moore, as He spoke of the fact that only the Lord rescues us and them!
The Rescuer and His Team
The Rescuer's team is His church. So now I am praying, "Lord, please place a believer and a church in the life of every orphan in the world." The importance of the church to support and uphold each of us as the Lord's adopted sons and daughters is so central in Acts and the Scriptures as a whole. The story that so movingly illustrated this at the Summit was the testimony of the young FBI agent who had been in an abusive family situation growing up and so, removed from her home when she was in middle school. She told the story of going to church even while her biologic family was in extreme disarray, of loving to go to church because she felt so loved there. The scary night came when someone she didn't know came from Social Services and took her away from her home to 'place' her in a family and make a 'care plan' for her life. Well, she showed the church leaders her 'care plan' and that plan wasn't good enough for this precious girl, in their opinion ("That the leaders took the lead, bless the Lord!" Judges 5:2). So they countered by writing their own care plan for social services, proposing that her 7th grade Sunday School teacher, a single woman who knew her only as one of the kids in the class, become her foster mom. And that is just what happened. The church became her family. Fast forward to the point in time when she is planning her wedding, and they come to the question of who is going to speak for her when, in the ceremony, the pastor asks, 'Who gives this woman to be married to this man?' They decide that the entire church will stand for her and say "we do." Can you IMAGINE that???? The entire church saying, 'we do'? I just started crying right there when I heard it!
God is BIGGER!
We have lived through many storms. Five years of infertility, a child with a fatal illness, a child killed before our very eyes on a family bike ride, a daughter in jail five times, a child with reactive attachment disorder, several children making many worrisome decisions that sadden us and displease God, becoming homeless 2 years ago when the Atlanta floods destroyed our house.
And I will say to you today, dear friends, indeed I will beg you to believe that:
--- God is BIGGER! GOD is bigger! God IS bigger!
I adore you and the Lord adores you so much more than you can imagine. That is the motivation behind His determination to be bigger than all our afflication. I leave you with Psalm 107...read through it and count all those afflictions - classify them - ours will fit in one of the categories, as will those of our children -- then see what the Lord does EVERY TIME we cry out to Him in our trouble:
"Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble and He delivered them [the Rescuer] from their distress...let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wondrous work to the CHILDREN OF MAN!" (Ps. 107, 4 times). We and our children, are only, in the end, all together, His own precious children!
We wait, oh Lord, for this rescue, as the watchman waits for the morning, believing You for the invisible to triumph over the visible struggles in our lives and in the lives of all we hold dear, because we and they are created in Your image for Your purposes. Doubly blessed. We love you, Lord.
We are hard at work on HOPE AT HOME 2012-- Save The Date! October 5-6 in Atlanta. Registration opens later in May. Tell your friends and plan on a time to be filled with Hope in what our God will do in each of our Homes.