Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Words of Eternal Life

John 6:60-68

Have you ever agreed to an idea because it sounded wonderful, but you get into day 3 of traveling from Alabama to California to see Yosemite Park, packed into an RV like a clown car with 15 family members and realize you might have been taking too much cough syrup the day you agreed to this “adventure”?  But then after you fold yourself out of the fun mobile and see the absolute beauty of God’s creation and you stand hand in hand with the people you love the most in the world and realize you made it through this together.  The memories of laughter in the RV come flooding back, of cards games, dirty diapers, spilled sippy cups, long stories and camp fire songs hit your throat and make the tears stream down your face because the moment is so beautiful…….that is what this adoption is like.  Clown-car and all (because when you go through this, so does your family and friends….can I get an AMEN?)

After waiting 4 weeks for what should have been a quick (ha ha I laugh at this word now) Embassy Appointment, we finally have the Birth Parent Interview completed.  This was a challenge to get Moses’ birth father and the Embassy Consulate in the same room, but the Lord is good with the word challenge!  It’s His thing. 

In regards to my last post, I should clarify.  I was not saying that I don’t believe in God or that I don’t aspire to have faith like Abraham.  In fact I was actually saying the exact opposite.  This process of pruning and refining that the Lord has allowed me to walk in has showed me how deeply flawed I am and I how amazingly merciful the Lord is.  On Sunday we visited Jeremy’s parents church in Silver Hill, Alabama.  Their pastor preached from John 6.  This is where Jesus feeds the 5000.  Then after their bellies are full with bread and they are happy and content He starts to give them truth to feed their souls.  He tells them that they have just eaten bread but that He (Jesus) has come to feed them His flesh.  Yes, I would have loved to been in that crowd to watch the faces.  “And the bread that I will give for the life of this world is my flesh” John 6:51. 
“Truly I say to you unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” John 6:53. 
I am sure the disciples where standing beside Jesus proud of the who loaves and fishes feat and then Jesus starts in on the crazy and they are probably started looking for the nearest exits.  They are standing in support of Jesus, working for him, spreading the truth about him to their neighbors, and wearing his campaign buttons…..and then…..Jesus becomes a cannibal (ok, so I have a flare for the dramatic). 

So this is the part we all know very well if you really think about it.  This is the part in the story that we have heard from our mouths and the mouths of our friends and loved ones so many times.  The part where we realize that God is not just our “Spiritual Sugar Daddy”, giving us what we want all of the time, granting the wishes we make on stars and making sure our bellies are full, but that He actually is going to require something from us as well.   The part where the disciples turn to eachother and say, “This is too hard…who can bear this?  Who can listen to this??” (John 6:60), and they start to grumble. 

Jesus calls them out on the carpet, “Do you take offense to this?  The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” 6:61.    Are you offended that I have not come simply to make your desires come true, to feed you until your tummy burst, to give you everything you wanted in your American Dream, to make and adoption timeline?  Are you offended that it is so much bigger than you, so much broader and so much more deeper than your own personal quest to happiness? 

Then they walk away.  Not the people that didn’t ever believe in him, read verse 66 well.  His disciples walk away.  “They turned back and no longer walked with him”.  The weight of these words are crushing.  These words are death.  To turn back because the call was too much, it cost too much, asked too much, sacrificed too much.  To walk with Him no longer because it didn’t go the way we…. (I) thought it should go.   There have been moments in the depths of this adoption where I wanted to ball up my fist at the Lord and tell Him of the injustice, the failed promises, and the hurt he was causing me.  But those words, “to turn back and no longer walk with him” are death.  And they are never an option.  So I had a choice to go deeper, to allow Him to prune me with the hard or to just stay stagnate and stunted in my relationship with Him. 

Jesus asks the twelve left standing in front of him, “Do you want to go away as well?”.  The hurt, the disappointment, the cutting truth of this question penetrates my heart again and again.  And I find myself on the floor in front of the King, wanted to wash his feet with my hair. 

My answer is right there in the printed words of my bible, “Lord to whom shall I go?  You have the words of eternal life”.  These are the words that beat in my blood, that make the foundation of this world, that call me into his presence and break me again.  Where would I go precious Father?  Where could I run, How could I breathe without you?  You are my life.  You have the words of eternal life.  I am your bondservant forever and ever Amen. 

“Simon Peter answered him, Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”.  John 6:68

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I am not Abraham...that's for sure.

 Oh course there are the obvious reasons, like I don’t have a camel, I am not in the desert, and Im a girl……you can come up with your own.  But I have realized I couldn’t even play him at a costume ball.  In Romans, Paul recaps the story of Abraham.  Not that he came from Ur or that he married Sara, or that he lied to a king in Egypt (all the soap opera parts), he leaves those out and focuses on the meat.  How very Paul of Paul.  (can I say that?)   The word says that Abraham believed with “hope against hope” that he would become the father of many nations.  He believed what the Lord promised despite every single circumstance in his life that screamed out, “Liar Liar pants on Fire”.  How?   Hope.  Hope is powerful.  Hope burns deep in your belly and redefines the here and now, it is the true liquid courage that pulses through your veins when the Spirit of the Lord makes a covenant with you.  Hope against Hope makes you a Believer. 

Abraham …..HOPED, and did not weaken in faith.  I read this verse (Romans 4:19) today and had a break through moment.  I. Am. Not. Abraham.  Wow.  That is an Oprah, “AHHH_HAA” moment for you on a bran-spaken new white couch with millions of your best friends watching as they eat cookie dough batter (you know you have done this too…don’t judge).    I had to sit back and let this sink all the way down.  Down to the part that I have padded with great bible studies, scripture, words of truth and belief systems.  The part that I don’t ever truly admit to because to be honest, I didn’t even know it was really there.  That is the part that the Lord is interested in now.  The hidden part of me that stores the stuff that makes you sink when you are walking on water, or lie when your wife is too pretty, or strike a rock out of anger, or hear the crow of the rooster for the third time.  Doubt.  Its Doubt. 
You have to understand that I am in the middle of the end of this adoption.  The thing that the Lord called me to walk in, the promise of a child, just like Abraham.  Abraham waited for years, I have waited for months.  Abraham hoped against hope, and I…..I????

You see the verse says that Abraham did not weaken in faith when he looked at his body( that’s a big one….Ive had two kids….you get the picture), which was, “as good as dead”, or that Sarah his wife could not have children, that he did not waver in God because of doubt, because of distrust, but that he GREW in his faith because of these things.  Grew!  He GREW not because of what did happen, but because it didnt happen immediately.   This is so opposite of my thinking that I can hardly wrap my brain around it. 
I grow when the Lord DOES something!  When he shows me his glory, when he does great things for my life, when he makes the doors fly wide open and when he answers my calls.  That is when I want to grow!  I grow through movement, through change (Im a military wife after all)……not through stillness!!??   And then comes verse 22, “That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness”.  And then it comes.  That moment where this realization flows over me, when the why’s and the how’s and the do’s fall away and I see it.  I see Him in this.  Abraham grew in the stillness that led to growth and took years to birth life.  He grew when everything in this world said NO but he believed anyway.  He believed and so will I.  I am not Abraham.  But I am growing in this stillness.  Our adoption seems to be stalled out, everything that can go wrong is going wrong.  I have no great story of how the Lord has overcome the circumstances, or busted in the door to shoot first and ask questions later.  That is not what has happened here.  Things have gone wrong, and are still not going right.  But Abraham had years of this, years of circumstances that tested him to question God.  But in spite of that, He Believed and HOPED!   I want to grow when things don’t happen, I want to grow in this hurt, I want to grow by crying in the shower at the throne of the Lord and by holding on to His promise that I will have a child named Moses.   “But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also.  It will be counted to us who believe in Him”.  Oh how true is this truth.  Amen and more Amen.