Leaves in the Stream


Where do I start?

Last week I mentioned that we’ve been filling out stacks and stacks of papers for an Asian adoption. It is a very long and complicated process, and part of that involves preparing a financial statement of all our assets. Yesterday, I looked at our “bottom line," and I laughed. Then I shook my head.

I’m ashamed to put this in words, but the biggest feeling that went through my mind was frustration. Frustration at our inability. Frustration that in our own power, in our own resources, we simply don’t have what it would take to give this child a new life. What do you do when you have a burning desire to help someone, but you do not have the ability to do it? I wondered how much I could get for one of my kidneys...

Then, I began to wrestle with our Lord. “Why do we have all of this love? Why have we been given this wonderful, amazing house with a huge yard that we could share? Why do we have all these things, but not a fat stack of extra money sitting in a bank account somewhere that we could use to simply make this happen for a child in need?”

Next, I began to fear. I felt foolish for dreaming big dreams and speaking them in public. Fear that God might not provide for our two biological kids and for these other unknown children who are burned into our hearts. Fear that maybe I was just imagining this pulling, or that I might (even worse) be trying to "force" a change that wasn't intended.

After that I became sad, because I do have a huge desire to train up all of our children in love for the people of the world. And I do pray that God might use them someday (no matter what they decide to "do" as a job) to bring nourishment to hungry places. And so the fear of not being able to train and launch several more lives that might serve places of global need felt sort of empty somehow.

So, I was wrestling with all this. And I was asking God for clarity. I know He loves orphaned children so much. And I think He has given us a parental love for them -- and a vision for their lives. What then? Would He show us where we should go with all of these yearnings?

This morning I checked my email. This was less than twelve hours after I had asked God to direct us.

In our inbox was a letter from a businessman we know in Singapore. Of course, he had no idea what the Lord and I had talked about the night before. But, he said that he had recently been praying for a way to bring Bobby back to Asia this year. When he started praying this prayer, it didn't seem viable because the economy was down. It's no secret that global funding is tight. But he still prayed.

Through a remarkable series of events (which I won't explain here, because this is too long already), he said God had just recently provided extra money for him to fly Bobby back over to Asia. And he wanted to know if he would come. His plan was for them to visit Asian ORPHANAGES to see how we might learn to help a great number of people.

We didn't know what to say. The timing was unreal.

But that's not all...

A few hours later, my phone rang. It was a lady with the adoption agency we hope to use. I asked her one or two questions about our adoption... then (on a whim) I asked her if she just happened to know of a way that we could help them. Did they have any needs in Asian orphanages... i mean, if Bobby made a trip this summer? She said, "It's funny that you should ask..."

I had to smile while several beautiful needs unfolded on the other end of the line. And I was reminded again of something that I hope not to forget this time, but probably will. That our God has access to every resource He needs. That His plans are going to be accomplished. No matter what my limitations. He is able.

Did you ever step into a stream where you have to walk with the current because it's just so strong? And there are fallen leaves, swirling all around your legs, being pulled faster than you can go? I'm not sure what is all happening here. I don't know if God will bless our family with one or two sweet new children or if He has another plan. Maybe there is something broader happening here? We are trying to keep our hands and hearts open to whatever that is.

But I think Bobby and I are both sort of shaking our heads today.

It's sad, we do all this talking about the reality of God, and then we are shocked out of our gourds when His presence becomes evident. Shame on us! And glory to God!

There is one hymn that has been in my mind since this whole dream began. I'll paste a few verses below...

- - - - - - - -

O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer's praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!

He speaks, and listening to his voice,
new life the dead receive;
the mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
the humble poor believe.

Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb,
your loosened tongues employ;
ye blind, behold your savior come,
and leap, ye lame, for joy.

Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
that bids our sorrows cease;
'tis music in the sinner's ears,
'tis life, and health, and peace.

My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread through all the earth abroad
the honors of thy name.
- - - - - -

I have only one tongue to sing God's praise. I only have two hands to give. But if that one tongue and two hands can train four more to bring love into a broken world... or help another organization do the same...

It all just makes me excited.

I honestly don't know what is happening here. And yeah, it's kind of crazy. But where He leads, we will go.

Thanks for your prayers.

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About This Blog

Welcome to our family’s adoption journey. As you read, you will see us stumble and take wrong paths. You will see our hopes surge and fall. You will see the gaps in our humanity, and how our God realigns us to His purposes over and again. We think the messiness of this process is important. Sometimes walking with God isn’t a neat, linear package that can be summarized in bullet points. More often, life ebbs and flows around our plans, while God works His sovereign wonders from it all. We are learning so much through this journey. And we are super excited about our new son. If you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you along for the ride.

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