"Be that as it may, my Father knows best, and I'm confident that He has placed me here; my task is to labor quietly until the pillar cloud removes and leads farther, working out God's purposes in God's time." -Jim Elliot
I have been inspired to write once again tonight. For years, I was a fervent writer. There were nights when I would wake up at 3 am, and I just had to get a pen and paper to scribble out whatever the Lord was impressing upon my heart. It's been many years since I have really been impressed in my heart to write in such ways. Our adoption journey has truly spurred my heart back to the pen. Tonight is one of those nights.
I read a post from a college friend on facebook today, and it was one of those times when God spoke to my heart and changed it. Effectual change. Spiritual refinement. Perpetual santification. Being made new. The Word describes it as "we with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another". (2 Corinthians 3:18) He brings me to these sweet times of beholding Him in His glory, and hence, I am transformed more and more into His likeness by His grace.
What my friend shared was, "I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." A Gospel lens. As Christians, we don't have mere eyes. Just as the sun gives our eyes light to see the world around us, so does the Gospel give light to our eyes to see the world through Christ's eyes. "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 4:6)
These truths explain why we are adopting a child with special needs from China. If we merely were seeing the world through our own lens, we would not be making this choice in and of ourselves. But as my friend shared, because by the Light that we see everything in this world, we cannot close our eyes to the orphan. We cannot get the image out of our minds of hundreds of thousands of children waiting right now in Chinese orphanages for a family. We are flooded with reminders of what God has done for us. We are adopted by God, adopted in His love, adopted for good. (Galatians 4:4-7) Nothing can separate us from His love. (Romans 8:38-39) He is the Father to the fatherless. (Psalm 68:5) And in the same way, He has called us as adoptees to adopt. He promised us in John 14 that He would not leave us as orphans, that He would come to us. This is the lens in which we see the world. And He has been faithful to call us to speak this same promise to our daughter across the sea, "We will not leave you as an orphan. We will come to you."
And yet we will not just offer ourselves to her, but we come with much, much more. We come to her with the message of a Father Who will never leave her nor forsake her. (Joshua 1:5) A Healer Who makes beauty out of ashes, Who gives gladness instead of mourning, Who binds up the brokenhearted. (Isaiah 61:1-4) A Savior Who laid down His life as a ransom for her own. (Mark 10:45) Who died to give her heart peace. (John 14:27) Who has promised to make all things new!!! (Revelation 21:1-5) We have been summoned, we have been called by name. He is calling us to carry His Light into the ends of the earth. (Matt. 5:14-16, Matt.28:18-20) Through our journey of adoption, God is manifesting His purposes of using our little family for His Kingdom. We are merely His vessels who have been given His eyes to see the plight of the orphan in such a way that has evoked a response. He is the Author of this story. This is why we are adopting a beautifully created and beloved little girl from China.
We wanted to share a message from one of our pastors at Apex who also was called to adopt a child from Ethiopia. Much of what he shared goes deeper into what I have written above, especially about our call as believers to lives of adoption: http://vimeo.com/78945476